Monday, October 06, 2008

Tom Sine in Oxford - where are the interim models for community?

I've got a bit behind on blogging recently so I'm trying to catch up post holiday (see next post when I get a moment to write it).

A couple of weeks back I went to an evening at the recently launched CMS community house in Oxford. If you haven't come across this yet it's a great initiative - CMS have recently relocated to Oxford and as part of that relocation they have invested in a couple of large houses in East Oxford which they have knocked through to create one very large community house where they hope to model creative communal. missional living. Some of the Home guys live there and Jim, our Warden, was very involved in getting it set up.

Anyway, they had an open evening with Tom Sine - author of books like 'The New Conspirators' and 'Mustard Seed vs McWorld' - who was chatting and telling stories etc.

It was great to be there. Enjoyed it. Tom spoke a lot about different communities who are living communally and how important these new expressions are. I agree. He also acknowledged that it's not easy to set up. This too is very true.

I asked what we could do about this gap between, on the one hand churches (like ours) saying that they don't want to just be a Sunday gathering, and, on the other hand - full on communal living. What's inbetween?

Tom's best answer was to move towards proximity living - i.e. trying to buy or rent houses in the same geographical area. I think this is a great idea. But I also think that even that could take considerable time and effort to bring about.

I'm still left thinking - what does it mean to be community when we don't live close to each other and we don't live with each other? How can we generate some interim models or foster greater community somewhere in between?

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