merging groups
Date: Tue, 17 May 94 13:39 CDT
 Stephanie Fassnacht wrote:
<Since both groups (Porchlight and Village)are so small now, there has been 
some talk of the
possibility of merging.  Both groups have been in existence for 2 to 2.5 years,
and have spent a lot of time working out their respective group visions, and
bonding with each other.  I can see both advantages and potential problems in
trying to merge.  Does anyone have any experience with this?

I had a little experience with groups merging. Part of my first core group
(Urban Sooners) and part of another group (Best of Both Worlds) came together
to work on a site that was of interest to members of both groups - it was at
the very edge of Minneapolis, next to a wonderful park. We came together under
great time pressure (essentially bought an option by buying part of the land at
a tax-forfeiture auction - after about two weeks of discussion and planning).
The next 3 months were spent on getting more information to decide if the
project was feasible and worth investing more in.  It was the first time either
group had gotten serious with money commitments, and the groups had somewhat
different styles.  It's almost three years ago, but certainly, from this
distance, I can't remember feeling that the combination group "jelled" -
although parts of it did.  About half of the founding members of Monterey
CoHousing came from that group, more from Urban Sooners than from BestOBW.

I think the questions I would have would be whether the visions/goals are
close/compatible.  We never really spent the time to merge the group processes
of the two groups, and that would certainly have been an issue had the group
remained together.  Another issue that keeps coming up is being realistic about
financial goals, early on, and again, if the two groups are similar or
compatible, that would help.  

Judy Baxter, Monterey Cohousing Community, (MoCoCo)
Twin Cities Area, Minneapolis/St.Paul Minnesota
e-mail: baxter [at]

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