Americans are desperate for community. They are flocking to conservative churches that have mastered the art of providing meaningful and plentiful small groups. Meanwhile the mainstream liberal Christian denominations, tied to traditional forms of large (and anonymous) gatherings on Sunday, and each follower left to his own devices the rest of the time, have been dwindling in membership. But community is not all that a human being needs. A person needs a degree of solitude as well. However, just as there are substitute and fake forms of community that do not fulfill in the long run, so there are substitute and fake forms of solitude as well.

Bob Greenwell is Leader of our offspring Mid Rivers Ethical Society, which began accepting members in January, 2004. Their membership now stands at 40. Bob has an M.Ed. in counseling, is married to Kathleen, and is the proud grandfather of four. He has known solitude from his Catholic seminary days (eons ago!) and his Siddha Yoga meditation. He has known community from family and from the Ethical Society.