Reinventing Community

Dear Friends,
We had one of those totally indulgent ‘Movie Weekends’ this past weekend.  However, one movie really outshone all the others – a film called ‘Bait.’  Shot on a vintage 16mm camera, in black and white, this film told the story of a seaside village in Cornwall (a county or province located at the very bottom of the South West of England – think of the TV series ‘Doc Martin!’) whose inhabitants were struggling to come to terms with the demands of modern life.  
The film explored how the traditional role of fishermen in small towns and villages was dying out.  Locals, who had once made a good living out of the fishing industry, were struggling to survive.  Families that once owned their own beautiful sea farers cottages were being forced into social housing.  They ended up having to sell their homes to city dwellers (from cities like London) who upgraded them and used them as second homes.   These city dwellers only used these sea farer cottages a few months in the year, or rented them out through Airbnb.
The film told the story of the tension between the locals and what they call in Cork, the ‘blow ins!’ and in Cornwall, ‘grockles’. Those folks who want a second home by the sea, but don’t want to become part of the local community or, if they do, they insist on it being on their terms.   This traditional seaside village in Cornwall could have been  a village in many different parts of Europe.  These old fishing villages and their communities suffer because of years of under investment and the changing face of the fishing industry.
The film really made me wonder about how we preserve communities in small villages like these.  Can such communities survive in the 21st Century without falling prey to the second home city dwellers, who only inhabit these villages in the summer months?  Shouldn’t there be some requirement for these ‘blow ins’ to give something back to these local communities?    How do we bridge the gap between the poor locals and the affluent second home owners?
Community is so important in rural communities.  Community is important whether it is within the village, town or city where you live………..the place you work, or the people you choose to share the spiritual journey with.  Let’s continue to stay focused on how important it is to build community between ourselves in this community of Faith.  Let’s also learn to keep building community with others who share our vision of social justice and our dedication to building a fairer and more inclusive world.
At our Harvest Service this coming Saturday October 5th, we will be taking up a special offering in aid of ‘Dignity’ which is a fairly new charity that works with Refugees in the Czech Republic.  We will have a visit from Tom Damms who will tell us a few words about the work and vision of ‘Dignity.’  I am excited that Tom will be visiting us and that we have the opportunity to learn about his community and the Refugee Community in the Czech Republic.  
In Faith and with love,
PS On Wednesday October 2nd from 8pm, our very own Kristina Kulberg will be the MC for the night at ‘The Laughter Lounge’ address ‘California Republic, Belgicka 24, 12000 Prague.’  This will be a fun event and it would be great if some of our members could support Kristina at this event.
On Saturday October 5th, we have Buddhist Meditation practice at 10am and our regular service at 11am.  Both of these events will be at Unitaria, First Floor Meeting Room, Karlova 8, Prague 1.  I will be taking the service together with Cricket and Snail.