Re: Question about "dining clubs"
From: Joanie Connors (
Date: Sun, 15 Sep 2013 08:14:02 -0700 (PDT)
It seems to me many times that you all are inventing the next wheel. As our
society has moved away from the village model, we have lost touch with each
other, and we have lost community. How our world is suffering for those

Community is the only thing that will help our world recover from these
dark times. All of the struggles you are talking about are the work of
community, how to balance individuals, families, friends and the community
we live in with the greater community outside?

You need a repertoire of solutions, rules, guidelines, compromises to make
it all work, as nothing works for everyone or at every time a problem comes
up. Thank you all for your diligent work and experimentation!

My two cents - it's always important to strive for the common good in
balance with the needs of individuals and families. If the common good is
suffering, then perhaps households are not remembering that they need to
contribute (sacrifice) in order to keep the whole healthy.

For example, perhaps in the original situation, some of the groups could
meet together on alternate weeks or months in order to have more community
time. The schedule of meals that Jennifer was talking about would
definitely neglect community needs.

Thanks all,
Joanie Connors
still forming community in Silver City, NM

On Sun, Sep 15, 2013 at 8:16 AM, Sharon Villines
<sharon [at]>wrote:

> On Sep 14, 2013, at 9:37 AM, Elizabeth Magill <pastorlizm [at]>
> wrote:
> > I don't want to live in a community that makes it so I can't sometimes
> meet with only my closest group of friends.
> > AND I don't ever want to be in a situation where a person has to stumble
> on that not knowing. So I wish for signs that announce PRIVATE EVENT other
> strategies to make it clear what is going on.
> I think there are social cues that conversations are private -- or that it
> is purposeful in some way for just these two people. A sign makes it a
> little odd, partly because it attracts attention. Curiosity is aroused. We
> have what I call a "Vassar Girl" with old school manners who will say,
> "We're having a head to head here over ___ issue. Can you come back later?"
> She knows how to navigate the social waters from years of social education.
> Not all of us have that.
> But the question was about institutionalized exclusion and how far that
> can go inside a group and still have one community rather than having like
> high school, the ins and the outs. How institutionalized can the ins and
> outs be for how long without affecting the rest of the community. It isn't
> enough to say form your own group. Forming small groups isn't the point. We
> don't need cohousing to do that.
> I find it disappointing that we have lost the sense of one community that
> we had when we moved in. As new and newer people move in, they are less and
> less committed or engaged with that idea. There isn't an effort to include
> everyone. If someone isn't there, a question to be raised about why or an
> effort to follow through to find out. But then we are much larger. We moved
> in with 48 adults and now have 65. That's more than 25% increase. And a
> crucial one. How many people can you make contact with frequently enough to
> feel as if you know them?
> How large can a group of people be and maintain a group identity around
> things like meals and meetings. Meals with more than 25 people get pretty
> loud and require more organization. What is the tipping point into
> formality and exclusion, conscious or unconscious, and wanting some of them
> to go away?
> In a larger group there are more people of a specific age or status, like
> couples, so they tend to form a group themselves. In the smaller group that
> moved in, singles dominated -- in 43 units there were only 5 couples. it is
> now almost 50-50 but many of the singles have children so they are more
> involved at home. We've gone from 7 to 20+ children. Only two live in a
> household with 2 parents. Some people want to not gather sometimes because
> of difficult children with "relaxed" parenting.
> I'm sure other communities have reverse demographics.
> Sharon
> ----
> Sharon Villines, Washington DC
> "Exhaustion is not about being tired, but about being disheartened." Jerry
> Koch-Gonzales
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