What Are We?

The Wednesday meetings are good. I didnt regret a moment spent listening to Dave tell us of his life, the small things and the big things that have shaped who he is and how he came to now reside amongst us. Yet, somehow things have changed from when we first began meeting in the evening last spring. Perhaps it is the desperation that has dissipated as we feel more confident of our success or maybe the increase in attendees that makes each of us feel less alone in this massive undertaking or it is just the comfort of routine and familiarity of friends. Whatever the cause, the change has been almost entirely positive except for one thing; we had reached a plateau of vision.

So much of the past year was spent envisioning how to implement this plan of renovation. The paperwork, the endless meetings and the need to have our ideas accepted by so many different interests took its proper toll and some felt overwhelmed by responsibility while others felt unprepared or helpless as to how their contribution could be of any use. Many hands make light work, but too many cooks in the kitchen can spoil the broth. So we needed to find the balance of responsibility and a renewal of the vision, which is why a Thursday night meeting was called. A different night in a different location with a focus of vision might be just what we needed to move beyond the plateau.

Below I quote the ideas/thoughts/feelings/visions of those that spoke at the meeting as well as some replies to the things that they said. Some are exactly the words that poured past their lips, while others are more succinct interpretations of the paragraphs or concepts that were spoken. No conclusions were achieved at this meeting; neither was it the beginning of new ideals; rather it was the voicing of those aspirations we have always had and the concerns over how best to achieve them.

This [meeting] is neither the beginning nor the climax of all our planning, only a point on the path toward a goal – Heidi

We want to support people in the community enabling them to achieve their goals, dreams and aspirations. – Sophie

We are powerless… What does a spirit of boldness look like in a life dedicated to non-violence and humility? – Dave V

In a community our mistakes destroy more… but less completely, while our individual innovations can be lifted beyond what could ever be achieved alone. – Tessa

Need to talk about our goals that arrived at dead-ends because that is where we have learned the most. – Dan

We must take care of those with vision. – Dave V

This [community] can not be “maybe your passion”, it must necessarily be your passions shared. – Tiff

Leaders must give up control and followers must take up responsibility…. that is the definition of community. – Dan

Mark your skills and serve in them, but understand your weaknesses and let God work through you in them. – Dan

Poverty does not necessarily mean humility; pride can still hide in dirty rags, but it is much harder to reach out to someone from a place of privilege. – Jim

We need a group of us to commit to daily pray together. – Heidi

We dont want to make people more like us, we want to make us like more people. – Beth M

There is a difference between living vicariously through others versus enabling other to do the things that you can not. – Dan

The community needs the support of people on the outside because they bring enriching nourishment to an ecosystem that would otherwise be self contained. – Jordan

Leaders need support as much as they need followers. – Carmen

We must understand that once we open the ecosystem, we could potentially lose the very things that gave it life. – Mark

People must be allowed to be committed to things that are not directly part of the community. – Jordan

Are we willing to commit to something beyond ourselves…. a commitment that has no time limit? – Dan

There is a specialness in being together, but even more in loving someone who is away, whose return is anticipated. – Dave S

There are different levels of investment. – Jim

Not everyone will or must feel that change is necessary. – Mark

Stop focusing on what we need and instead work toward giving away what we want. – Alie

Focus on serving God instead of on ways to serve God. – Beth A

Our dreams limit what God has in store for us. – Dan

As a conclusion I have tried to write a statement of vision that perhaps encapsulates that which is of central importance to the community. It excludes many aspects but I believe that it captures much of the vision of the Atangard Society; Hospitality and Community.

The Atangard Society is an organization that pursues building an infrastructure of hospitality, creating a physical space and an organizational framework to allow us to direct people to the help that they need.

– dan

1 thought on “What Are We?”

  1. addressing ‘the community’: you strike me as a superior group of exceptionally talented peoples in areas of art, and verbal/written articulation. You sort of have this eclectic flavour, if you will, to your group. I’ve listened to people in the present community talk about their shared values of acceptance and being welcoming to others. A group as talented and skilled, as well as tight-knit and close in their relationships as yours is, has the benefit of being strong in character and personality. This, however, must also make it difficult to accept others into your group if they are more shy, are different from you, or have “less to offer” the group by way of skills, talents, personality, etc. Sometimes change to such a close-knit group is uncomfortable and at the heart of it – unwanted. By creating Atangard, this is an issue that will begin as soon as people apply to move in with you. How, would you say, do you see yourselves, presently, as a community, welcoming and accepting others into your community, and how are you preparing to deal with it when people apply to live with you?
    • anonymous

    We dont want to make people more like us, we want to make us like more people. – Beth M

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