Choosing Community; Kate Lovelady, Leader

An individual’s community used to be largely determined by circumstance—the extended family and town in which they grew up, the traditions of family and background. “Community” was mostly a given, and often something to escape from in search of freedom and new experiences. Today, community is often something that people are seeking, as families shrink, people move more often, traditions continue to lose power, and individuality reigns supreme. What does it mean to cultivate voluntary community? What do we owe family or tradition? What do we owe relative strangers? What do we owe ourselves? What does choosing community require of us, and what does it give us in return?