Saturday, June 2, 2018

Koinonia and Intentional Communities

Can I just say how delighted I am that the word that won this year's National Spelling Bee is koinonia?  And I am delighted that spell check knows the word--because I just misspelled it when I wrote it.

I have visions of the nation looking up the word--online, as so many of us do.  And then it takes them to Koinonia Farms in Americus Georgia.  In this time of racial divisiveness, that place has an inspiring story of black and white farmers working together in the heart of racial ugliness in the middle of last century.

It's the birthplace of many an initiative.  Perhaps the most famous is Habitat for Humanity. Less well known is the Jubilee Partners community in Comer, Georgia, a spin off community from Koinonia that has helped resettle refugees for several decades.  During my college years, I visited them several times, and that idea of intentional community still has a hold on my imagination.

That group was in the process of building homes for the community, and they were beautiful, simple, functional facilities.  I think about creating something similar:  small cottages with a single larger house or two.  Then, when people want solitude, it's there, but there's communal space too.  My experiences have shown me how important it is that everyone has their own bathroom, which they are responsible for cleaning.  I think that the kitchen can be more communal--people are willing to pitch in to clean up after a communal meal. 

For now, I'm living in a much smaller intentional community of two--and it's time to go to Home Depot to work on various projects.

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