First Gathering

I was going to title this post, “The Beginning”, but then I remembered that the beginning began with an invitation.

Last night 12 of our neighbors (including two children) met with my wife and I in our family room. We had included with the invitation this Agenda:

• Introduction of Neighbors.
• Introduction of purpose: to create a neighborhood of neighbors, an intentional community.
○ Discuss importance of purpose.
• Introduction of primary intention: learn how to be a neighbor.
• Sharing of visions: What would a really good neighborhood be like?
○ Search for similarities in visions. 
• Snacks & further discussion. 

We followed this agenda fairly closely.

We gave a three-ring notebook to each family containing the original invitation, a page containing the story of the Good Samaritan from Luke 10, a page stating our purpose:

We want to learn how to be good neighbors, to develop closer and healthier relationships with our neighbors. We believe that by doing this it will change ourselves, our neighborhood, our city, our state, our nation, and the world. We believe this is not only valuable, but critically necessary. Our present way of living is simply not sustainable. Evidence from many sources point to the probable end of civilization unless a fundamental change occurs in the way we relate to other human beings and with our environment.

Ultimately (and this may sound a little crazy), we want to save the world.

A page containing our intention:

We intend to achieve our purpose of learning how to be better neighbors by creating intentional communities through small group gatherings of neighbors beginning in our home and then reproducing, spreading, and connecting these gatherings of neighbors throughout the world.

A page about the importance of these neighborhood gatherings:

Below is a partial list of possible values which may be realized as we become good neighbors. We need to make and keep a distinction between value and purpose. For instance, a possible and probable result of these gatherings may be the development of a safer neighborhood. However developing a safer neighborhood is not our purpose. If it becomes our purpose, most of the other values on this list will not be realized. We need gatherings such that every neighbor will find value in them and want to participate, but not everyone will share the same values.

And this article.

The response was excellent – far better than I was hoping for. Neighbors seemed to buy into our vision and caught some of our passion. Especially exciting was the participation of the children.

Next week should be interesting.

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