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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Group

While I had a pretty good idea of the thoughts I wanted to share this morning, I was uncertain which "word" to select. I've opted for group.

Last Sunday I enjoyed a wonderful brunch with a great group of women, some of whom I've known for ten years. It was my writing group. Some time ago, after moving to my new town and new job I was feeling the need of a different sort of connection. I'd say friendship but at the time I had no idea that I was looking for friends or certainly that I would find friends in the class I signed up for.

I happened to notice that a class was being offered on life writing. That sounded interesting to me, and like an opportunty to write for fun with some amateurs totally unconnected with my work and my work community.

Since then, I've tried each year, spring or fall, to find a writing class that works with my schedule. In the process I've been introduced to memoir, poetry and most recentlly fiction. (More of this another time, perhaps.) Because the more valuable thing I've found is a group of fifteen or twenty women who've been part of those classes.

All of us have "other jobs" although some of us have been pretty regular and serious published writers. Mainly we listen appreciatively to each other's work, offer genuine and helpful critique when asked, and laugh and eat together as often as we're able. Usually the get-togethers, even the scheduled classes have only five to eight at a time because of the necessities of our other life. I'll not be doing a class this fall as I cannot synchronize a class schedule with my busy work calendar.

But I know my friends are there. We are connected. So I guess, by definition, we are a community. We care about each other's success and well-being. We follow one another's journeys. We lament each other's trials.

What connected us in the first place? I think it has to do with sharing story. I believe there's something about the discipline of being authentic together. I suspect the regular sharing of food has something to do with it. (It doesn't hurt that Anne is a published cookbook author and the rest of the gang are amazing foodies!)

Do we share a mission? I've pondered on this one; but I think the answer is Yes.

What does any of this have to do with the ongoing conversation about community and congregation? And how much does it matter if I happen to call this bunch of friends a group? What groups do you belong to? Do you share any of my experiences with your groups?

More thoughts from you readers out there?

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