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Community- Latin, communitas, a community, fellowship; from cummunis, common.

Berry Spray
"Berry Spray,"
©Joanne Swanson

Unalakleet Church
"Unalakleet Church," 
Joanne Swanson

"The Wind and The Washboard," 
Joanne Swanson

"Moon and Candlelight," by Joanne Swanson
"Moon and Candlelight,© Joanne Swanson

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Field Observations: An Interview with Wendell Berry

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Rebuilding America's sense of community

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Politics & Government

"We know the rules of community; we know the healing effect of community in terms of individual lives. If we could somehow find a way across the bridge of our knowledge, would not these same rules have a healing effect upon our world? We human beings have often been referred to as social animals. But we are not yet community creatures. We are impelled to relate with each other for our survival. But we do not yet relate with the inclusivity, realism, self-awareness, vulnerability, commitment, openness, freedom, equality, and love of genuine community. It is clearly no longer enough to be simply social animals, babbling together at cocktail parties and brawling with each other in business and over boundaries. It is our task--our essential, central, crucial task--to transform ourselves from mere social creatures into community creatures. It is the only way that human evolution will be able to proceed."

Scott M. Peck-The Different Drum: Community-Making and Peace

"A spider's web is stronger than it looks. Although it is made of thin, delicate strands, the web is not easily broken. However, a web gets torn every day by the insects that kick around in it, and a spider must rebuild it when it gets full of holes...."

E.B. White, Charlotte's Web

"To grapple with the forces that undermine our family, we need new ways of thinking. We must pay attention to interdependence, trust and mutual responsibility. We must get beyond the language of individualism. We must seek the common good together. We have a need for trust and sustenance."

Richard Madsen, UCSD - La Jolla, 1996; Also, Robert Bellah, Richard Madsen, et al., Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1985.

"Many of us believe that when some people are excluded from the social fabric of our communities, that fabric contains a hole. When the fabric contains a hole, the entire fabric is weakened. It lacks the richness, texture and strength of diversity."

Author Unknown

"No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee."

John Donne, Mediation XVII

The Bridge

Orange and Green- it doesn't matter
United Now
Don't shatter our dream
Scatter the seeds of peace over
  our land
So we can travel
Hand in hand across the bridge

Hare's Hill Road Bridge (1869)

A poem of peace for Northern Ireland written by twelve year old Sean McLaughlin and five of his classmates. It was read by them to Irish President Mary McAleese on May of 1998. Sean was killed, three months later, in the August 15, 1998 Omagh bomb blast that took not only his life, but twenty seven others. The attack, perpetrated by the Real IRA, has been condemned by almost all parties to the dispute and will hopefully lead, not to further retribution, but genuine and lasting peace. This would certainly have been Sean's hope.


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