Monday, September 25, 2023

Loving God and neighbor without distinction: A pontifical institute of women religious of the Roman Catholic Church

Year of PeaceYOP columns

Dec. 5, 2014 — A dream for our community, by Elijah Steffen


Our community can make a big difference in people’s lives.

When we show our spirit at football and basketball games, it makes others realize that we are a strong and passionate community and that we take our school spirit seriously.

We can make a difference in our community through the things that we do together, such as the park project that Concordia completed a few months ago. We also can participate in smaller activities, such as raking lawns and taking part in blood drives. This community is great and we should show everyone what we can accomplish.

Say a family just moved into town and you want to make them feel welcome. You could take them out to dinner, or you could invite them over to your house, which would help you get to know them better. I believe that we should always help each other and show them that we are here for them.

Making somebody feel like they are welcome doesn’t have to be difficult. It may be as simple as helping to carry their groceries or waving at them as you walk by.

My goal is to get everyone to interact with others, and to greet them with a smile and open arms.

The actions of our community toward other people can also have a negative effect. I believe that treating people badly is mostly seen at sporting events. We have rivalries with other teams and sometimes make each other mad, but in the end, we are all human and we all make mistakes.

I may not have a big voice in this town, and to some people I am a nobody, but I have a dream for this community: Concordia should be known for more than just our sports teams and great education; we should also be known as the community that welcomes people into a caring environment.

Everyone has a dream of what the perfect community would look like, even if you don’t think you do. I believe more giving and less receiving is what this community needs. It sounds like a Christmas quote, but it is true.

The holidays are coming, and when you go shopping to get your child, friend or family member a gift, don’t forget about your neighbors, your classmates and even that person who is really annoying sometimes. When you give to someone, you feel joy in your heart.

When the community gives as a whole, joy washes over it like a waterfall. Some people give for the joy, but some others ask for a reward. I don’t believe in that. I believe that joy and gratitude are their own reward. This is my dream for our community. What is yours?


— Elijah Steffen is an eighth grader at Concordia Junior High School. He is the son of Boyd and Angela Steffen.


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