"All who believed were together and had all things in common." (Acts 2:44)
A consummate introvert, I've always been fascinated by people who choose to live in community. Sharing everything? Like, everything? I can't imagine it, but I do admire it.
I especially admire the Christian community at Koinonia Farm near Americus, Georgia. Koinonia Farm was started by Baptist preacher, Clarence Jordan (think "Cotton Patch Gospel"), in 1942. He imagined-and created-a place where folks would live together in community and work the land together. The community would be called Koinonia, the Greek word for the kind of community the first Christians established, where everyone had everything in common. Oh. And the community would be racially integrated. Did I mention it was 1942? In rural Georgia? Yeah. Sumter County did not respond well to the ideas and ideals of Koinonia Farm.
"Briars in the Cotton Patch" is an excellent documentary that tells Kononia's story, including all the violence they suffered during the civil rights movement-armed attacks, cross burnings, boycotts, constant taunting. That the community survived at all is a tribute to the strong commitment residents of the community had to living the kin-dom of God on earth and to standing against the sin of racism.
Several folks from my church visited Koinonia Farm last weekend. (To read more about Koinonia, visit their website at www.koinoniapartners.org) Koinonia is still going strong as a true koinonia community. Members of the community still make a life-time commitment to living the principles of Christian community in their Sumter County location for the rest of their lives. Their attention is clearly focused now on living in harmony with the earth. To the extent they are able, they seek to raise their own food and create as little waste as possible.
With all the media attention on race in the past few weeks-the confirmation hearings of Sonia Sotomayor and the arrest of revered Harvard professor, Henry Louis Gates-I am thankful all over again for communities like Koinonia....places where people always are judged "on the content of their character," places where human dignity is paramount, places where the kin-dom of God is so very close to happening here on earth.
Peace for your journey,