After getting back and catching up on everything we did over the break, we all had a meeting to discuss a few exciting things happening this semester as the Ruka! First of all, each of us are doing research with Professor McNary-Zak on a different topic that interested us based out of our experience in an intentional community. This research is exciting in that each of us will be able to help talk thoughts out with each other, while researching our own topic specific to our individual interests in intentional community. Below is a brief idea of what each of us will be studying this semester.
For this project, Emily will be spending time in some of Memphis’ many intentional communities. She is looking at how each of these different types of groups organize their community and define intentionality. Allison will be exploring the role a physical place plays in helping to create and sustain community. In doing this, she will be using Caritas Village as a case study. Shannon will also be focusing on Caritas for her project. More specifically, she will be telling the story of the formation and evolution of the Peacemakers program and the impact of the program to the greater community of the neighborhood. I will studying other communities as well. However, my focus is on the role Bonhoeffer’s works play in modern intentional communities and how these communities implement his ideas.
Also, this weekend we are going to visit the Bonhoeffer House at Hendrix College! We are all really excited to find out how an intentional community looks on another college campus and having the opportunity to reflect on our own intentional community. We are really looking forward to being able to hear how they implement their intentional community into their campus, and how they interpret living intentionally.
During our meeting we also discussed what new environmental aspect we want to add to the community, since we have been working on implementing something new each month. This month however, we decided that we want to really focus on quality over quantity. We each acknowledged that we have not been following each environmental aspect to its fullest, and we are more interested in doing a few things really well than half-way doing a lot of things. So for now, we’ll be refocusing on water and energy conservation, composting and looking ahead to our spring garden.
We have a lot of exciting things planned with two different dinners set up (one with a community member from Peacemakers at Caritas and one with a Psychology professor), a different look to Peacemakers, and each of us doing our research. More to come soon!