Monthly Archives: September 2012

Does community-building start in school?

I think it is important for me to begin this post with a disclaimer: I don’t work as a teacher and I have no children in school. Therefore, what I pose are ponderings and questions. I am particularly curious this week to receive your thoughts in the comments stream below…

Several of my good friends have sent some of my littler friends (their children) off to school for the first time last month. I had discussions about this with them and was possibly more on the alert to eavesdrop on other people’s conversations on the subject too. I heard people talking about their concerns that their child was not going to be “pushed” enough. I know others fear that their child will fall behind or struggle with what they are being taught. And so, of course, some people believe that classes should be streamed according to ability.

Enjoying community life from an early age (I am the one laughing hysterically on the front bench)

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A Learning Conversation…

…in conversation.

Recently I’ve been rattling off phrases like “The learning is in the doing…” and “The answers are in the questions…”  I’m not sure this makes a bit of sense to anyone, myself included, but I’ve been really trying to stop thinking so much about stuff and just simply DO.  And so this past Thursday, I found myself driving to the residence of Barbara Workman, a woman I’ve had the pleasure of meeting through my open letter to my church community.
Ever since I wrote the letter, Barbara has been diligent in making sure I knew that she wanted to be a part of moving this idea of connecting forward.  Continue reading

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7 Thoughts on Gardening and Life

Exactly three years ago, my partner and I moved to a new community in a
village outside Edinburgh so that we could afford a place with a garden. We
have been growing and nurturing the garden and our community
connections for 36 months now and some common themes have emerged
for me.

Image of roses and a raised herb garden

Chaotic abundance in the herb garden

Thoughts on gardening as a metaphor for community-building:
1. We started with what was there and planted around it. When we moved Continue reading


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An open letter to one of my communites…

This appears on the front lawn of our church…

For this week’s post, I want to share with you an open letter I wrote to my church congregation.  I’d like to point out that this post is not a testimony about my particular faith, rather, it is simply an invitation to a group of people that I am in relationship with, to start to think about who we are as a community and how we can become better connected with each other. Stay tuned to this blog in the future for updates as to the progress of the project I invited people to participate in below…

“A community filled with gifts, talents and capacities is only vibrant and abundant if those gifts, talents and capacities are visible.  St. Marks is a community of inherent warmth.  It is a community of welcome.  When my family walked through the doors 3 years ago, we remember being greeted with open hearts, open doors and open minds, just like the United Methodist Church slogan reads.  Continue reading


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