City Church Communities: Mark and Erica DiBella’s Story
September 23, 2015

City Church Communities: Mark and Erica DiBella’s Story

Communities are former strangers turned friends through shared experiences—rich times of vulnerability and openness. We have found no better way to make fast friends out of strangers than breaking bread together. 

Gandhi said that “there are people in the world so hungry that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.” We are fortunate that, our guests have never entered our house starving, and, due to a love of cooking and an Italian heritage, almost all have left stuffed. Yet, if our guests are anything like us, they have all experienced a deep emotional and spiritual hunger for community—a desire to know and be known.

For us, hospitality is a way to use what is God’s anyway and provide a space for him to do what he does best—meet us where we are, hungry for community, and feed us. Though we have always enjoyed hosting dear friends in our house, recently our vision for hospitality has evolved. Hospitality has become as much an opportunity to host future friends as it is a chance to deepen relationships with current ones.

If you don’t know us yet, you should know we also have a heart for racial reconciliation. Last month, in an attempt to connect these passions, we posted an open invitation on Facebook for people to come to our house for dinner and a conversation about race issues in America.

Twenty people showed up—many of whom did not know each other; some of whom did not know us. We gathered as people from different backgrounds, religious traditions, and beliefs, but we shared one thing in common—the desire for community. We are getting together again soon (and if you are reading this, you are invited), but we are no longer strangers. 

Similarly, we were once estranged from God, wandering alone and oblivious to our deathly hunger. Yet, he was the one who acted hungry and pursued us like a starving man pursues a hot meal. When he caught up with us, he gave us our daily bread by sharing his one and only Son with us.

May City Church Communities be a place where strangers become friends, where vulnerability breaks through barriers, and where God meets us that we might never be hungry again. We look forward to hosting one in our home in the Heights beginning Tuesday, October 20th from 7:00-8:30.

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