Philosopy of Adrian - Part One (warning: there may be many parts)

Late last year I convened a gathering in the Melbourne suburb of Yarrambat. I invited about twenty people with business and community development backgrounds, with whom I've been liaising for the last year. The idea of the gathering was to talk about "neighbourhood" and what neighbourhood does and could mean to us. One participant wrote the blog entry at this link to sum up her sense of the event.

Before the event I wrote something of a philosophical and theological document about my interest in neighbourhood. It was dense and I;m not sure how many of the participants knew what I was on about. But it seemed to contribute the feeling of the event. So I am going to save that document now, in this blog, reproducing it here piece by piece until we get to the end. Prepare for quite a few entries...

Part 1: In Anticipation of a Gathering….

I am in the process of planning a gathering for November 2010. The gathering coincides with the visit of Dave Cooper, who has been involved in the foundations of an initiative in the USA called Communities of Shalom. This initiative has come to life through a commitment - of some within the United Methodist Church within the USA – to neighbourhood building as a primary activity of faith communities within any given geographic area.

This paper explains why I think that neighbourhood building – re-empowering local relationships, whatever we define as local – is such a crucial skill and endeavour for our future. It therefore asks what resources, ideas and possibilities can I (and the organisation I am part of) contribute to the aim of neighbourhood building? What are the most crucial and useful next steps that can be most helpful for empowering neighbourhood relationship building?

I have invited a diverse range of people to this conversation. These include entrepreneurs, business change catalysts, connectors, online specialists, community developers, educators and practical theologians. The participants are not exclusively from any particular group or organisation. This is because I believe there is a strong universal dimension to the need for greater local connection. Below I have explained why my background in Christian community has led me to that conclusion. But given my assumption of universalism, I suspect you will all relate quite closely to my argument, if not always the specific language used.

Next: Part 2: I am a Cultural Christian (well not really)

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