(this may be a bit disjointed, as the roof is swarming with workers, ripping, nailing and running the nail gun compressor. I should probably just go sit down and watch a movie, so the cats can sit in my lap, and stop freaking out.)
In the parish newsletter yesterday, there was some boiler-plate article about how our cohesiveness as a community enhances the Eucharist. Makes it 'realer' or something.
Now, ignoring for a moment that this is really close to that heresy whose name I forget about the holiness of the priest affecting the effectivness of any sacrament, the author is way off on community.
Community, as a wise spiritual teacher once said, cannot have itself as its object. It will fall apart if it does. A community is a group organized to achieve a goal. Let me give you an example. In years of volunteer work, I've seen disparate groups of people form many communities. Usually, these are short-lived- their goal is to sort a truckload of canned goods or toys or to fill food boxes. But they are communities nonetheless, at least for an hour or so.
I find that in any community of over five people, there will almost always be at least one natural leader, a troublemaker of some sort (the slacker, the ADHD kid, the klass klown, etc.) and the rest will be solid citizens. Pretty much like society in general. Which is why societies are only as strong as their littler communities.
This is why 'community building' exercises that the business world make employees go to involve reaching a goal. They're bogus, because they're not real goals, but they understand the principle, at least.
But the community college professor I saw on access TV in Arizona didn't. His complaint was that white people didn't have enough friends of color and that was unnatural and should be stamped out. Ignoring the universal evidence that preferring their own group is a human default position, he put the blame for A-A , Hispanic, Asian and Middle Eastern kids hanging in their own lunchroom enclaves squarely on the Anglo kids.
In his world, you pick your friends by a paint swatch, not by shared interests or likeability. Someone get that man a copy of C. S. Lewis's The Four Loves.
What he misses completely is if you give those kids a goal- win State, put on a play, kick the others choirs's asses in UIL competition, build houses for the homeless- they work together fine.
Community is organic.