I’ve had sites bookmarked for a month now and empty promises and half finished thoughts. I’ve read a book and even experienced some of that play out. It is time to write this post or to put something down so I can stop pretending I’ve forgotten about it.

I am a HUGE fan of community. When it works. When it exists in a psuedo state, I’m no fan at all. It’s probably safe to say we all want close relationships or some idealised fashion of the sort, even if it only plays out in our head.

So of the collection of ‘data’ that I’ve picked up over the last while, and to make this happen I’ll present it and perhaps throw in a few thoughts of my own.

So, from the community minded book: The Different Drum: Community Making and World Peace by M. Scott Peck.

“If we are going to use the word (community) more meaningfully we must restrict it to a group of individuals who have learned how to communicate honestly with each other, whose relationships go deeper than their masks of composure, and who have developed some significant commitment to “rejoice together, mourn together,” and to “delight in eachother, make other’ conditions out own.” – (Peck,p59)

The book then also goes on to talk about inclusivity, commitment and consensus.

I’ve journied a fair bit in around and through community that exists for the long term, the short term and that which is simply intensified in a night (pick a camp experience, most of you have had them).

Out of curiousity and finally having a search function that works – some of my past posts and thoughts on community have said much of what I’ve wanted to say already.

A question of community
Striped Pyjamas (if you can wade through everything else there)

“When its death has been completed, open and empty, the group enters community. In this final stage a soft quietness descends. It is a kind of peace. The room is bathed in peace. Then, quietly, a member begins to talk about herself. She is being very vulnerable. She is speaking of the deepest part of herself. The group hangs on each word. No one realised she was capable of such eloquence.

When she is finished there is a hush. It goes on a long time. But it does not seem long. There is no uneasiness in this silence. Slowly out of the silence, another member begins to talk. He too is speaking very deeply, very personally, about himself. He is not trying to respond to her. It’s not about she but he who is the subject. Yet the other members of the group do not sense he has ignored her. What they feel is that it is as if he is laying himself down next to her on an altar…

…If it is so channeled, life in community may touch upon something perhaps even deeper than joy. There are a few who repeatedly seek out brief experiences of community as if such episodes were some sort of ‘fix’. This is not to be decried. We all need ‘fixes’ of joy in our lives. But what repeatedly draws me into community is something more. When I am with a group of human beings commited to hanging in there through both the agony and the joy of community, I have a dim sense that I am participating in a phenomenon for which there is only one word. I almost hesitate to use it. The word is “glory”.” -M Scott Peck

I’ve had the parallel experience to the above. It is beyond astounding. At the moment I am trying to see and perhaps in my own underhand kind of way, drive (a little) and be a part of a community where this is an on going thing. Intensity is marvellous, but you can’t live that way or it becomes ordinary.

I have the joy (perhaps?) of being in a group where it is becoming more and more tangible to live out community realistically. Yes, it’s on and off. We do ‘forget’ about each other a little and sometime ignore it throught the week, we could push for more openness but it’s pretty decent.

A friend of mine describes it thus,

“To me community is really based around one key thing… mutual, non-possessive love.”

and further,

“I’m just a genuine, affectionate, and engaging human being (on a good day). I connect with people (again on a good day… somedays I must hurt people heaps coz I miss it). It doesn’t take much more than sincerity and kindness to make an impact on someone emotionally. All of us have our pain and our loneliness… and anything that distracts us from that is appealing.”

Which leads me to the next quote I earmarked,

“Let us, at all times, take each the burden of the other, and let us suffer for each other even as our Lord suffered for us; but let us examine our souls unceasingly.”
The Paradise of the Fathers.

I have noticed, it might be pretty simplistic. But if a friend is in some way ‘suffering’, having a crap day, month, era – then the impact upon me is a good guage personally about how valuable they are to me. Selfish – yes, pathetic – most certainly. There are lines you have to draw about how emotionally involved you get with someones ‘issues’, which is why I like the latter part of the quote. But the whole deal is pretty self explanatory this is something that should – without even us trying, play out in a community.

And to finish of this very very scattered post,

“Congregations should not be viewed as a group of people who gather together for an hour or two each week. Rather, he says, they should be viewed as a federation of teams – people who support and encourage one another as they live out their faith commitment and minister to the people they are in contact with…ministry and mission flow out of relationships.”  (Leadership Next 37)

Church and community should parallel – infact, be one and the same. Size determines a lot, but effective close relationships across a wider spectrum is definitely possible. I don’t think we should restrict our ideas of community to say, ‘just my young adults group’. A peer-only society doesn’t exist. It’s working out how to break a few links on this far simpler method of like being drawn to like. How that eventuates, I’m not quite sure.

Christianity Church General Relationships


You’ll have to be patient while I work out how to stuff around effectively with themes and such.

A huge thank you to Geoff!

Blogging General

Check this out!

The world might finally be coming to some sense. The refusal of ‘too skinny’ models is the best news I’ve heard in ages for this kind of crap . (I don’t follow the fashion world at all and generally regard with huge contempt.)

Lets see, if this takes off – I might even allow myself to look in the occasional magazine when I find myself in a waiting room. Mind you… I’ll have to add an extra 5 years so the subscription dates are old enough to make it there.

General News

Last Wednesday Stephen Said came to ‘guest speak’ for young adults. We – as I somewhat expected, explored the wider implications of living out our theology – to pin a cliche theme on it: social justice.

As small as my ‘practical application’ for this is, my challenge, my red button of the evening was pushed good and hard. Something I’d been thinking about for a while really.

About 6 months to a year ago I stopped watching the news. Too much, too depressing, too little time. Through the course of the evening’s discussions, I lighted on a curious parallel (but a static one, because in my mind parallels just keep on going forever). I talked to God about compassion a while back. How I wasn’t/aren’t that compassionate a person, which being one of those regretable (but beautiful) asks, hit me a bit hard. Soon thereafter ceased my exploration of current affairs and what’s going on in the world. I didn’t recognise it as anything other than just reclaiming some more time. I’m wondering now if it was ‘other’.

So. It was my intention this week, to get back into watching the news. Downgrade the bifocalisation (there I used it!). My small thing. Watch it, allow myself to recognise, and dare I suggest feel it.

Intentions are good things. Not so good if you don’t follow through on them. I think I’ve watched the news once. I tried to read the paper – but felt really out of it and didn’t have any background to get back into the what was going on. It shouldn’t be hard, but it is. Time is a ridiculous commodity that’s forever getting in the way.

So, engaging with the issues that we should care about in the world – how do you do it?

Christianity General News

Well, so much for promises. Any made on here seem to be as empty as my head is.

Java Script Validation blah-de-blah gave me more trouble than I thought possible. But due to some very well meaning nerd friends (who tried to help – even dredged up someone from the past for me) but really one very cluey someone who saved my sanity, I got started and managed to work the rest out myself – which meant removing one form field because I (dare I admit it) couldn’t be stuffed.

It was a frustrating day really.

I’m not sure what’s happened with me and deadlines. I used to have things done well before the day and I find now that I’m cutting things down to about the hour – absurdly enough my marks haven’t changed. Which leads me to wonder what I could’ve done with all those extra hours that I poured into ‘perfecting the finer details’.

The problem here is that being who I am, quite likes the finer details and the job not really well done isn’t half as satisfying, nor does it sit as nicely with my conscience (or whoever happens to be on the blame plate.)

Why the heck Rebecca are you up at this hour? You probably don’t go around reading the “time I posted” information, but in case you do, here’s some kind of explanation. I have had equivalent to approximately a litre of Coke, some fairy floss, a brownie… and mm yeah that’s about it in the past 5 hours or so. That sounds pretty bad, now I write it out.

Why. Truth be told, and hey Mum is going to read this eventually, so what. They’ve (That being the Parentals and the two little sisters) been away for the week and get back tomorrow. Mum Dad left a request that all the ironing be done by the time that happens.

At about 7:30 this evening Laura and I happened to remember that we’d better do something about it. We unearthed a solution; went to the video (or should we start calling it dvd) shop up the road, to get out three possibly degenerative choices and capitolised on what sugar we could find.

So after – Sliding Doors, Four Weddings and a Funeral -neither of which I’d seen before, the ironing was done. 50:50 split with a spill or few of coke and water (one of which was for the iron, one for myself). We then looked at the clock and decided to, “Why not watch the last”.

The third choice, was probably not exactly your typical hum… 20yrs/youth/adult choice. We had the old versions on video and loved them when we were younger and probably still own them. We also remember Mum reading the book aloud. We also, also hadn’t bothered to see it when it was re-released. So, 5 Children and It. Freak variation, with the classic ‘Eccentric’ line which, coupled with the hour, had me laughing pretty hard. Odd though. Don’t know if I really liked it that much. Not quite the magic the story used to have.

It is now 2am (at least). I’ve worked out that I have to go into Uni tomorrow to hand in two assignments – Goodbye all plans of a relaxing ‘at home’ day. The one that caused the heartache earlier and the Folio for ‘Foundations of Design’ of which NO-ONE has been told a thing about, there is nothing about assesment up online at all, she hasn’t mentioned a squeak and when we were going to ask her the tute was cancelled. All we all know is that we have to submit 5 images by some time on the 22nd of September, now today. As the situation pans out, I only really have 4 of these images as we had a substitute tutor for three weeks who took the class to new heights by creating his own cirriculum. So I have dredged up a 5th and can hopefully talk my way into fitting it into the bigger picture. Of which I have absolutely no idea how that is going to work and don’t know that I will be able to when it comes to it. Oh, did I forget to mention – this assignment is worth 50% of the Subject.

How much I love Deakin and it’s P (see Myers Briggs) tendancies!

I confess I am more worried about the one field I cut out of my form validation (assignment all up worth 10% of the subject) than that folio. I know she likes my work, so I’m hoping my hardest to lean on the 4 decent and definitely valid images.

And I was going to go to bed early tonight…

General Life