yay! community stuff

found this great article by fellow pilgrim Chris Smith--who i don't know personally but whose blog i really appreciate. His article lays out some general groundwork for community. Like what community is, why it is, and what makes it not work. Here's a brief excerpt: "So where does that leave us? Is genuine community even possible? I believe that it is possible when a community finds its meaning and purpose in something larger than itself, or in other words when it recognizes itself as playing a role in a larger story. Stories and storytelling are essential to the health of a community; they remind their hearers of the past and prepare their listeners for the challenges of the future. If a community is founded upon and derives its meaning from a larger story about the nature of the world (i.e., a meta-narrative), then its members have reasonable grounds for self-denial since they are placing their own stories in submission to the meta-narrative. A community’s need for a meta-narrative is, I believe, the reason why religious communities generally are more viable than non-religious ones. For instance, many church congregations have been in existence for well over 100 years and some communities--particularly monastic ones--have been in existence for many hundreds of years. Religious communities are founded upon a particular story about the nature of the world (how it began, how it will end, and stories to guide its adherents in the interim years), and this meta-narrative is laid out in the basic writings of that religion."


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