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Eric’s Sunday Sermon; Commonality vs Community

Updated on September 14, 2020
Ericdierker profile image

Holding degrees in philosophy and Law. Formal studies or certificates or degrees in business, theology, insurance and security. Ex-preacher.

Common Goals

I need my community
I need my community | Source


People normally want to have a sense of community. People normally do not want to be called common. We all think we are special and in fact a community is the only way to know. You and I have commonality and we may belong to the same online community. So what is the difference between commonality and community? Just thinking about it creates a whole new perspective.

You and I have nothing in common. Not the clothes we where, not our gender, not our age and not our religion. We are not even close in politics or modern day social issues. Yet here we are reading and writing in the same community. I even have a diverse family. Large and extended family is a community.

We like to laugh here. My wife’s translation to and from her native tongue plays tricks with “village”. Are there villages in a large town? My wife grew up in Southeast Asia in a village. Like what you would think of with huts and such. Yes mostly one bedroom concrete structures now. In her time mostly dirt floors. A wonderful place for me.

But that culture persists to modern day. And my wife declares when something is positively gossiped that “now the whole village knows” maybe something like my son losing a tooth. You see in that community losing teeth means something – I still do not get it 20 years later. But the village is what is our community on one side of our family. My side is less community and more birth commonality. Not of today but rather the past.

Commonality of the past does not make community of the present. Some events are so intense though, that a commonality of experiencing them, bond a group into community. A community that can last half a century or more, I think of WWII veterans. Although most are gone now. They are bound into a community of survivors. But can this also be by something so wonderful as being classmates through our 12th grade. Can it occur by seeing the same folks day in and day out? I walk, a lot in our neighborhood. While I do not know everyone’s name I know them well enough to return a pet and they know where I live and my son and wife. By golly I live in a common community.

Different Jobs, Same Man

Down at the Bottom

Sunset | Source

Differing Communities

Religious communities can be awesome. You join together to share a common bond of their faith. Though no two folks have exactly the same faith, it is close enough to be common. They have stuff like prayers circles which is a smaller community of folks who pray with each other. How cool is that? The children are in the communities of youth groups. Again super cool.

I have had the pleasure of being welcome in several groups who shared the commonality of faith. Wonderful. I have also been accepted and brought into communities of other faiths. This is a splendid way to get to know cultures and other communities. Close knit communities are great.

My wife was a Buddhist when we dated and then married. A really cool culture with good community here in our city. We agreed to attend “services” in the temples. Fascinating to say the least. Although I admit to having trouble sitting and kneeling on the ground. The community welcomed us. And they provided me and some other oldies with stools. I stuck out like a sore thumb. Big old white guy attending Asian Buddhist events.

And my wife agreed to join me on our Sunday services in a church I just adored that also had a service special for Vietnamese. In that I was working half the time in Vietnam and can mumble some of that language I had become a part of that community along with the very old community of the original church.

Well my wife and I were sitting there during the Vietnamese service just as dandy as candy. And this lady came up to us. A beautiful late aged gal. And she inquired of my wife’s place of being born and raised and suggested Cu Chi Vietnam. Upon the words spoken it was an immediate recognition. This lady had helped raise my wife years and years ago. Needless to say she is now Grandma Tam and helped raise our boy.

The community spanning decades and half a world away rekindled. (soon after my wife had an epiphany and Christ through the Holy Spirit entered her soul.) I preached in that community for 6 years. Then they adopted a new sect that I cannot follow. But was I kicked out of the community – not at all. I attend the obligatory Christian holidays and the weddings and baptisms and the like. And we hold a service in our home once a year. They are my community of a few communities.

By Any Other Name

Rose | Source


Commonality of Love

My wife loves our boy’s school. She is your archetypical Asian mom when it comes to studies. A task master extraordinaire. She also talked with our teacher almost daily. (yes I said “our” not “my son’s” I am sure you get the nuance. I was Chairman of our school council for two years and know some teachers and parents and students well. Yes it is true that the lead janitor I call friend. Jake is going on 20 years there. Know the custodians and know the school. All the juicy details.

So we have a great community of what? Education? Neighborhood? Children? Just as an aside our friend circle from there is keeping in great contact during the stay at home and alone factor. Kids with their devices and moms on phones and zooming with the teacher and other parents. Wow can they keep busy within our little village. Maybe that is community based on commonality of school.

I was at a birthday party. Rico’s. Rico is trouble with a capital T. But my son’s best friend, other than church and family community. So I was standing with this very tall black American named Frank (do they still name kids Frank?) We were laughing at the Mexican American and Filipino food bizarre trying to count the ethnic groups represented. At least 6. Yet this is our community not necessarily our commonality. But a ten year old birthday party? Come on now! Talk about commonality for us poor parents.

We are well chastened to understand that commonality of the finest sort is love. Can we just up and form a group, a village, a community and share our love with each other. Of course we can. A whole mixing bowl with just a drop of love can change the flavor and create a common taste for all to enjoy.

Nowadays there are no boundaries. Our interconnectivity is global. I suggest that it always has been in the realm of love. I share things in common with folks out in the furthest parts of earth. I share love. It binds us and entreats us to a community of humankind and beyond. How wonderful.

Yet it is so true that we have enemies within our commonality and community. Now that just seems to make no sense. Well in fact it does not make sense. We are taught to love our enemies as ourselves or at least as our neighbor. Well what if in this community of man we has no enemies. Simply a lack of exterior commonality? Your enemy does not create an enemy of mine.

So, in love today I ask you to look for commonality and form more community in love.



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    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      5 days ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you friend I look forward to seeing a man of your stature visit more.

    • boyatdelhi profile image


      5 days ago from Delhi

      Interesting article. We live in a global community. That is true. Look forward to knowing you more through your posts. Jesus loves you. Blessings

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      2 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Flourish I am a very blessed man. Thank you for your comment.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      2 weeks ago from USA

      This was an interesting take on those two words. I’m glad your support system is so extensive.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      2 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Liz. Definitely from a perspective I have.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      2 weeks ago from UK

      This is an interesting look at these two words through the perspective of your experiences.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      2 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Rania you are so right. A common desire for the good, creates such great communities regardless of differences.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      2 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      DDE Thank you. Your years of support of me makes me happy. We are developing a walking community. For all the right reasons my physical community began going for walks. Now there are dozens of folks in the evening and many of us early morning walkers. Of course we are limited in handshakes and smiles and conversation but we still know each other.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      2 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you my good friend John. You and I correspond/communicate five days a week. Now that is community at it's finest. Which brought me to more thought. Community and communicate sure sound a lot alike. Perhaps a big deal in community is reminding others that they are a part of ours.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      2 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      So right Lorna. Show me someone in recovery from some situation or addiction without a community and I will show you one that still suffers. I like to isolate, kind of in like my ego does. But my self basically wants community. So silly me, I make sure to eat a balanced diet and get plenty of both.

    • Rania Heikal profile image

      Rania Heikal 

      2 weeks ago from Egypt

      It is very beautiful that diversities can live together. This makes one feel they are accepted regardless their different everything with no limits. Thank you for the nice idea.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      2 weeks ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Hi Eric This encourages us and great to live in a friendly community. People need to come together in such times.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      2 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Linda just today I was noticing our little family as a community. We are in a new 'stay at home' suggestion. Smoke is bad enough to be unhealthy. And we do just fine in our small community with much commonality.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      2 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Greg I thank you. I just cannot find anything negative here. Community and commonality are good. I used to struggle against commonality, but now I like it.

      When writing this I realized I have never joined a group for the sake of joining a group. I just wanted to do what they were doing. Yoga classes are great, joined for the exercise and stay for the hot 60+ chicks ;-)

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      2 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Another excellent sermon, Eric. Common Unity...nice term isn’t it? I guess it takes at least a few commonalities to form a community in the first place. For instance people wishing to live or “be” in a certain location. Here at HubPages for instance our commonality is that we are writers, even though the types of things we write are totally different. I am a member of quite a few different communities, but this is one of my favourite communities of all.

    • Lorna Lamon profile image

      Lorna Lamon 

      2 weeks ago

      I feel there is a connection between the two. The more we interact and share our story, other people may find they share similar experiences. As this expands you start to build a community which creates a sense of belonging. This connection is not only good for your well-being, it also means you are not alone. There is comfort in that knowledge. Another interesting and enjoyable read Eric.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      2 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Community is important in our lives, as you've shown. I like articles that give me things to think about once I've finished reading them. This is definitely one of them. Thank you for sharing your ideas, Eric.

    • boxelderred profile image

      greg cain 

      2 weeks ago from Moscow, Idaho, USA

      Eric - there is the word unity in community, and as you know, I'm sure, I'm all for that. I yearn for more unity and less division. Also, though, I have been part of many different communities over the years, am still part of several, but what I didn't really ever think about is I have also simply shared commonalities with many folks. And that is, as you so eloquently point out, something quite different and far less intimate and binding. It takes a village, as they say, and I just love that notion. Great sermon, as usual, Eric.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      2 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Window dressing indeed James. I like that. Clothing just came to mind. And hair styles. Old people trying to look young and young trying to look mature. I am glad that you and I have writing in common.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      2 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Linda thank you. I had not thought of that here. Yes indeed it is our uniqueness that we all share. No two snowflakes just alike but all snow flakes. Gabe and I were checking out patterns on the leaves of a plant. He just looked at me and said snowflakes. No two leaves exact but all of the same tree.. Sorry -- too deep maybe.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      2 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Pamela, it is a fun ride for me. My son takes lessons for piano and Vietnamese. We practice Spanish everyday. And of course being German we must at least so thank you and such in that tongue. All unique languages, coming from unique places. Perhaps by learning the language of the arts, sciences and cultures we can be more a part of them.

    • justthemessenger profile image

      James C Moore 

      2 weeks ago from The Great Midwest

      Universal commonality is the base of community. Regardless of ethnicity, religion, culture, we all desire the same things like being loved, valued and accepted. We can use these things in common to form community. Many of our apparent differences are just window dressing. Insightful hub.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      2 weeks ago from Washington State, USA

      Eric, people are just so darned complicated. We don't want to be "common," but at the same time, we want to belong. We're all uniquely different. My daughter has a saying about interior decorating--if nothing matches, then everything matches. Maybe you could extrapolate that to people. We're all different and that's what unites us. Gosh, I'm starting to sound like you. I'm happy to live in your village.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      2 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

      This is a very thought provoking article and ver interesting. I am sitting here thinking about the difference between community and commonality in my life. I also love my church group and the DAR group I attend. You have had some very unique experiences in your life, Eric. This is an excellent sermon.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      2 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill it is kind of funny for this introvert to enjoy community so much. Maybe I really am not one?

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I have an article coming out Wednesday on community. Great minds travel in the same caboose, my friend. I'm with you for the journey. All aboard!


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