“I am CCDA.” “Dear Familia…” We use these phrases and descriptors a lot in our CCDA circles. Both reveal the essence of who we are as an association.
I am CCDA, speaks to being a community of practitioners doing Christian community development. What you and I do as we live out the key components of CCD in our neighborhoods, communities and cities through our local churches, organizations and ministries, represents our movement as a whole. One beauty of CCDA is the mark of our diversity. We are urban. We are rural. We are suburban. We are Latino, African-American, Native American, Asian-American, multi-ethnic, and many more!
The way in which each of our diverse, individual expressions of CCD is connected as Familia creates synergy and operationalizes Aristotle’s famous articulation, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” The relational-ity of CCDA makes us a movement. Our oneness produces mutual encouragement, learning, edification and support, and also catalyzes community-wide efforts towards our vision of wholistically restored communities.
The individual and collective identification with the practice of CCD, coupled with our shared commitment to loving one another as family, in friendship and authentic relationships is what we believe gives our movement strength. It empowers us to multiply through attraction and is what sustains us in this challenging call to bring about restoration and hope to our neighborhoods.
We all feel this sense of community and belonging at our national gatherings. Our national conference feels more like a family reunion. The connectedness and mutual edification we experience in those spaces sets us apart from the other Christian conferences. But we would be settling for a fraction of what we could reap from the movement if we limit our times of being Familia to our large, once a year reunions.
In order for our movement to thrive and really see impact, we need to live as Familia locally, and regionally. Our CCDA friendships and connectedness needs to be a part of our daily bread, right where we are living. So to that end, we invest time and effort in encouraging and supporting local and regional expressions of CCDA.
Our shared philosophy is the glue that empowers us as a diverse group of believers who come together beautifully. Our missional friendships become local expressions all over the nation, and even across the globe making our connection hard to actually quantify. Yet, today, with just a little help over the years, more than 15 local & regional CCDA networks have emerged. These local expressions of the movement come together regularly for fellowship, mutual learning, collaboration and to spread the mission of CCDA: to inspire, train and connect Christians who seek to bear witness to the Kingdom of God by reclaiming and restoring under-resourced communities.
We celebrate our local networks in El Paso, Raleigh, Fresno, NYC, New Orleans and other cities, in our 5 regional networks who regularly connect, making the family dynamic of CCDA a part of their lives and ministries. We want to see more local networks join our regional networks so we can regularly share life alongside each other.
In the coming months we will be working to strengthen our local and regional networks by listening to and learning from those that are making it a reality today. We are currently revising our model to connect and support those local existing and emerging networks. Our hope is to continue sharing the stories of our Familia in action to bring more networks into the greater movement of what it means to be CCDA.
Our collective ethos is fueled by these meaningful and strategic connections. Let’s work to be intentional by leaning more deeply into our mission. #iamccda