Mission Center: The Episcopal Church: Community

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The common life and fellowship of love shared by Christians with Christ and with each other in Christ. It is a Greek term for "communion" or "participation." A rich theology of koinonia is found in the Pauline letters and elsewhere in the NT. This saving fellowship with Christ is made possible through the Holy Spirit (Phil 2:1; 2 Cor 13:13). Paul's collection for the relief of the church in Jerusalem was an expression of koinonia (Rom 15:26, 2 Cor 8-9). Koinonia with Christ was the basis of Paul's appeal for love and harmony in the chaotic Christian community at Corinth (1 Cor 1:9-10). The reality of this koinonia is expressed in the sacrament of the eucharist (1 Cor 10:16-17). We may share in the community and fellowship of Christ's sufferings and thereby share in the power and glory of Christ's resurrection (Phil 3:10-11). Koinonia is listed as one of the four features of Christian community in Acts, expressed concretely in the sharing of goods (2:42). In 1 Jn 1:3, fellowship with the original eyewitnesses in the Christian community is understood in terms of fellowship with the Father and with Christ. 

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.
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