September Gathering – Intentional Communities

Intentional communities… This is something many of us have talked and dreamt about, but we have not done anything about actually making it happen. Why not? Let’s talk about what it would take, if it’s really worth it, the benefits, things to consider before jumping in, and whatever else is relevant.

Something for everyone. Thirsty Thursday: One dollar off draughts and $3 beef hot dogs on homemade buns.

Thursday, September 5th at 6 pm 

Parking is available in the street and behind the restaurant.
We have reserved a large table. Look for us!

Jane’s Deli
2626 E 11th St,
Tulsa, OK 74104

I think many of us have expressed a desire to buy a bunch of land and live happily ever after with all of our friends. Most images conjured up are of the hippy communes wrought with free love, tents, shacks, no income and cannabis permeating the atmosphere. These communes were short-lived failures and it’s likely obvious why.

As my knowledge of intentional communities increases, I reflect on some that have gained notoriety like the faith-based communities of the Koresh compound in Waco, Texas and the Yearning for Zion Ranch in El Dorado, Texas. The Amish communities have stood the test of time.

The term intentional community is a broad description of people who decide to share space together, usually in their own homes, but share some ideals, whether faith-based or secular, which makes it desirable. It seems these days we know less about our neighbors, people stay holed up in their homes avoiding too much human contact especially with others who may seem very different from us. There is an unnatural disconnect from each other that I believe some of us are trying to remedy.

Sharing space with like-minded people can certainly enrich our lives. It’s true there is a whole lot of division among groups these days and when you find others who share some of your philosophical views it’s so pleasant to be with them. Maybe a group desires to live a more sustainable life going to the extremes of off-the-grid living. You can see how a community working together would greatly benefit from each other in this scenario. Perhaps dividing labor while sharing resources is desired by another group like tending a community garden or even livestock, bartering goods and services, or maybe even creating their own currency.

But are intentional communities a Utopian idea or are they doomed to fail?
Some sociologists suggest that we a hard-wired for tribal living. This could be why some of us look for ways to de-centralize and commune with others like us.

The Amish arrived in North American in the 1700s and are still quite active today. Interesting fact: in 1965 The U.S. Congress exempts the Amish from participating in Social Security. The Amish believe they do not need Social Security because it is the duty of church members to care for each other’s material needs. Today, Amish families fill out IRS Form 4029 after a child is born to exempt them from Social Security; they do not pay into it or receive payments from it.

There are many different reasons for desiring an intentional community and some very practical questions for consideration.

Here are some points made by people here in the Tulsa area who have created an intentional community:

“The need to communicate openly and honestly when living in close quarters is one of the biggest benefits that causes the most growth in people which benefits the world. Pitfall would be not communicating openly, honestly, and clearly and having a blow-up or a fall out.”

“One big thing is the foundation will be different for some than others. Unless you know what everyone else thinks it is, you may be disappointed when you find out after you’ve already had moving day.
Do you want to just have love as foundation and no judgement?
Do you want to have the same beliefs or only the same standard for behavior?
Or do you just want to be like lifed in a secular sense?- natural homestead community?”

Another thing to consider is a release or criteria for sale of your property if your situation should change.

I have some questions as well like how is the land/property divided or is it? Does everyone take ownership or is the space “rented” from one or two owners? If there are any other rights to resources on land how are they shared?

I look forward to bouncing these ideas and experiences off of each other.

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