Saturday, May 19, 2007

Blogging the meeting

I would have written sooner but the internet provider that Asilomar uses died mid-download yesterday. The good part about that is that I spent my time outside and at the beach and with the folks.

It's wonderful to be here with people who are excitedly figuring out how to follow Jesus -- for whom that's a living question. Yesterday we got into discernment/discussion about what it means for us right now in Silicon Valley to be church with each other. Our church family is economically very diverse; historically that has been left unremarked upon. I know that reticence comes from a fear of moneytalk coupled with pride/embarrassment on the part of both the struggling and the secure. But that means that those who are actively struggling "can't" talk about it (and get help and support) and those who could pitch in don't know.

The fear-of-moneytalk also serves as a community divider: it reinforces the sense of isolation, of nuclearfamily-ism, that pervades our culture. And that is acute in our area, where working 70 hours a week is a point of pride (for techies) and of need (for laborers), and the housing median is over $800k. If any society needed a counter-culture, it's ours.

If we had any guts, we'd choose to reconstruct our relationships: we'd invest in co-housing, rear our kids together, create shared child care -- we'd be sub-urban monastics. Minimally, our people would assume that we would take care of each other, openly, rather than wait for a whispered secret to inspire.

Anyway, so last night we were talking about finding a way to offer health insurance to those in our congregation who can't afford it. I'm thinking about investing in a CSA as a church. It's not Acts 2, but it's a start.

1 comment:

Raines said...

Cohousing in Silicon Valley is definitely possible, if you want to make it happen. I just did a cohousing table at the Maker Faire in San Mateo last weekend and visited San Mateo Ecovillage and a new forming group in Redwood City, and there are people down near San Jose reactivating some previous efforts to create a community. With your faith as a unifying force, you can indeed move mountains. I'd be happy to come down from Berkeley sometime to do a slideshow and connect you with resources to make it possible.

Raines Cohen, Cohousing Coach
Planning for Sustainable Communities
Berkeley, CA