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Apostle Build Reflection

This reflection was written by Jenna Cucco, Community Outreach Coordinator for Hickory Habitat for Humanity, and shared at the groundbreaking for Kellie Houston on Sept. 16, 2017.  First UMC is partnered with several other area churches to help build this home.  Jenna’s reflections show us what Habitat for Humanity and the Apostle Build are all about.


If you’ll indulge me, I’d like to reflect on the Apostle Build program by telling a brief story.

If you look around today, it is easy to think the world is a hostile place, full of angry people. For my evidence of this, I point to what the kids these days refer to as the “dumpster fire” of the online comments section. The tendency, much like road rage, that when behind the cloak of anonymity, people give in to their worst impulses, they vent their worst feelings, and their fill their bellies up by tearing other people down. If you took these comment sections as your only anthropological evidence, one might be tempted to conclude that humanity, at its core, is not nice to say the least.

I am here to tell you this is not, in fact, the case. I know this because I recently got married. All by myself. Nobody else here was involved at all. And throughout the day, we were constantly greeted by strangers sharing our love and wishing us well. And I’m not talking about casual waves from socially acceptable distances … people were going out of their way to cross streets, holding up traffic, to take our hand and to give us their blessings. How special that people who don’t know each other can recognize and share in each other’s joy. How sacred that strangers can come together to celebrate milestones in the life of another. Because in watching someone else reach a milestone, we remember that same journey in our own life and in the lives of our loved ones, and in that recognition, their joy becomes our joy, and our joy becomes theirs.

That my friends, is at the heart of the Apostle Build program. Today, some of us may know each other well, and some of us may not really know each other at all. But family, friends, and strangers a like, we are here to celebrate a big moment in the life of Kellie. Her journey is what has brought us all to this moment. And that is the every-day sacrament of the discipleship community: the transformation of strangers into friends, and friends into one body. What a blessing to be able to celebrate Kellie in one of life’s biggest moments. And what a grace for Kellie to allow us, friends, family, and strangers a like, to be a part of this experience with her.

This is what the Apostle Build is about. Lifting one another up. Recognizing our own journeys in the road walked by another. Increasing our own joy as we share in the joy of someone else. Celebrating the triumphs of another because in their triumph is our triumph too, for we know that what is good for one of us is good for all of us. This is what solidarity is about. Yet, Habitat’s solidarity isn’t just about joy … it’s also about justice. In today’s celebration of one family’s road to a new home comes the recognition that all families have the right to safe and affordable housing. Thank you for joining with us to help make that right a reality. Thank you for demonstrating that humanity, at its core, is so very good.

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