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11/2012: Koinonia 共融 ~帶領社群走出危機的啟示 / Koinonia for rebuilding communities in crisis

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Koinonia 共融 ~帶領社群走出危機的啟示

在過去的幾年來,歐盟的社群危機經常地出現在每天的新聞報導中。台灣的讀者對社會的撕裂應該很有共鳴,因為同樣的分裂也出現在這裡,從國際政治到小小的社群,以不同的規模展現。本月的對話新訊提出來自希臘的概念「koinonia共融」 - 意思是團契,一種從共同目標、一起參與而衍生出的連結感,也是一種充滿啟發、帶領我們解決社群危機的方式。


今年十一月,基金會專員/亞太綠黨召集人顏克莉在希臘雅典的一場全球綠人會議中,針對歐洲未來的願景和提案展開對話。當時外面的情勢相當混亂,超過七萬名希臘人聚集在雅典的國會前,抗議勢力薄弱的聯盟政府為了防止希臘破產而通過的財務緊縮政策。當晚抗議的群眾情緒越漸高漲,向現場的警員丟汽油彈和石頭,警員們也以催淚瓦斯驅散民眾,並又啟動好幾年都沒使用的大型水注。希臘面臨可能退出歐盟的危機,如果發生,就可能牽動義大利、西班牙、葡萄牙等幾個財務狀況也面臨崩盤危機的歐盟國家的命運,後果不堪設想。社會系統也大受影響,連鎖效應也會影響到我們的世界。


同樣的,雖然規模較小,今年在台北的一個非營利社團也有類似的經驗。社團的會長在無預警的情況下辭職,導致社團整個組織的紛爭。他們沒有特別召開危機處理會議,反而在例會的形式中針對「koinonia」為主題進行,請每一位講者上台自我介紹,分享自己心目中社區的意義。會議進行到一半,有一位參與者即興發表了一場有關寬恕、療癒和超脫紛爭的演說。聽完之後,全場所有人不禁起身鼓掌,眼看要分裂的社團自然地歷經一個療育的過程,讓大家再度感受到深度的社群意識。


當社會、經濟、政治危機威脅到歐盟國家的團結,甚至讓我們的組織不穩定,就可以讓我們運用古希臘時期對聖經的影響力,運用koinonia來呼籲人民彼此忠誠、彼此尊重 〈聖經羅馬書12:10〉,和睦相處 〈羅馬書12:16、彼得前書3:8〉,彼此接受 〈羅馬書:15:7〉、服事彼此〈加拉太書5:13〉,彼此要慈愛、同理〈以弗所書4:32〉,彼此鼓勵〈帖撒羅尼迦前書5:11;希伯來書3:13〉,彼此督促持善念 〈希伯來書10:24〉,溫馨款待 〈彼得前書4:9〉,彼此相愛〈彼得前書 1:22、約翰一書3:11、3:23、4:7、4:11-12〉。

這個非營利社團的危機當然不復歐盟債務危機般複雜,但是它卻很明確地道出社群建立的複雜過程,以及來自古希臘的概念koinonia的力量。就如社會心理學家史考特‧派克(Dr. Scott Peck)博士所說,社群的建立共涵蓋四個步驟:假設區、混亂、空虛,然後就能帶領我們到真正的社群。如果真為如此,混亂和空虛就不是我們應該害怕和避免的,而是將這視為必要的步驟,幫助我們建立起真誠的社群。

Koinonia for rebuilding communities in crisis

The crisis of community in the European Union has covered our daily news for the past few years; readers in Taiwan can relate to these dynamics of disunity because the nature of disintegration is analogous at various scales of organization: from our businesses, to communities or even our family.  This November newsletter proposes the Greek concept of koinonia - meaning fellowship, a bond for a united purpose and joint participation - as an inspiring way to rebuild communities in crisis.


While Keli was in Athens, Greece this November to dialogue at a Global Greens meeting about visions and proposals for the future of Europe, more than 70,000 Greeks gathered before the Athens Parliament to protest the fragile coalition government's ratification of increased austerity measures which were made in a desperate attempt to evade national bankruptcy.  That evening protesters threw fire bombs and rocks at police, who responded with stun grenades and tear gas.  Greece faces the prospect of leaving the Eurozone, which would have incalculable knock-on effects for other EU member countries like Italy, Spain and Portugal who are also in the grip of severe recession; and the breakdown of social systems could easily domino into our world as well.


Similarly, yet on a smaller scale, this November a not-for-profit community club in Taipei recently experienced the crisis of a president's sudden resignation, leading to organizational discord. Instead of a crisis management meeting, the club decided to hold its regular meeting with a special theme - koinonia  and each speaker was introduced to the stage by sharing her/his thoughts on the meaning of community.  Midway through, one participant gave an impromptu speech about forgiveness, healing and transcending the discord.  The audience responded with a standing ovation and a deep sense of community was regained.



As social, economic and political crises threaten to break apart the EU, or even destabilize our own organizations, this is an opportunity for Greeks to lead by recalling their contribution of koinonia to the Bible where it was used as a call to action for people to be devoted to and honor one another (Romans 12:10), live in harmony with one another (Romans 12:16; 1 Peter 3:8), accept one another (Romans 15:7), serve one another (Galatians 5:13), be kind and compassionate to one another (Ephesians 4:32), encourage one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11; Hebrews 3:13), spur one another on toward good deeds (Hebrews 10:24), offer hospitality (1 Peter 4:9), and to love one another (1 Peter 1:22; 1 John 3:11; 3:23; 4:7; 4:11-12).


The case of the community club crises pales in comparison to the far more complex EU financial crises, but its simplicity illustrates more succinctly the dynamics of community building and the power of koinonia, an idea that the ancient Greeks captured.  As social psychiatrist Dr. Scott Peck wrote, there are 4 stages in the community building:  Psuedo community---Chaos----Emptiness--- before achieving Authentic Community.  If so, chaos and emptiness are not something to be feared and avoided, but rather necessary stages in the building of authentic community.  

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