THE FOUNDATION FOR COMMUNITY ENCOURAGEMENT (“FCE”)
Excerpted from www.fce-community.org
M. Scott Peck M.D. (1936-2005) was an American psychiatrist and best-selling author, best known for his first book, The Road Less Traveled (1978), which is a description of the attributes that make for a fulfilled human being, based largely on his own experiences.
Dr. Scott Peck’s Founding Dream
Written on the back of an envelope at an organizational meeting for the newly formed FCE…
There is a yearning in the heart for peace. Because of the wounds and rejections we have received in past relationships, we are frightened by the risk of disarming ourselves. In our fear, we discount the dream of authentic community as merely visionary. But there are rules by which people can come back together, and by which the old wounds can be healed. It is the mission of FCE to teach these rules ~ to make hope real again ~ to make the vision actually manifest in a world which has almost forgotten the glory of what it means to be human.
FCE’s Mission Statement
FCE encourages people, in a fragmented world, to discover new and better ways of being together. Living, learning and teaching the principles of community, FCE serves as a catalyst for individuals, groups and organizations to:
- Communicate with authenticity
- Relate with love and respect
- Deal with difficult issues
- Seek, honor and affirm diversity
- Bridge differences with integrity
- Acknowledge our human frailties
- Take responsibility for our actions and make amends where possible
- Practice forgiveness for ourselves and others
FCE’s approach encourages tolerance of ambiguity, the experience of discovery, and the tension between holding on and letting go. In our work to empower others, we remember our reliance upon a Spirit within and beyond ourselves.
What is Community Building?
Community is defined as a group of two or more people who, regardless of the diversity of their backgrounds, have been able to accept and transcend their differences. They are able to communicate openly and effectively, and to work together toward common goals, while having an unusual sense of safety with one another.
Community Building is a group process that can lead to deeper, more authentic communication. It is based on the principles identified by Peck in his books, The Road Less Traveled and The Different Drum. Dr. Peck and a group of eleven colleagues further developed this process through the work of the FCE. Peck then expanded these principles in his book, A World Waiting to be Born.
Experiential in nature, Community Building is an adventure in human interaction, based on a set of guidelines and principles rather than an agenda or particular procedure. Participants are gently guided by specially trained facilitators who take the group through a process that shows how to look beyond the cultural, political and religious differences that prevent us from embracing our common humanity.
The Community-Building Experience (“CBE”)
During a community building workshop… 15-18 hours, or two days… the ultimate goal of the group is to become a real community, which requires authentic opening and connecting of the heart. It flows from an awareness and understanding of the self and of relations with others, particularly with the other participants in the workshop. (A third day is sometimes added for the newly formed group to determine how they want to proceed with building and maintaining the new community they’ve just formed through the first two days’ experience.)
The aim of this experience is:
- To grow in self-awareness
- To develop one’s capacity for personal choices, with a view to serving others
- To increase one’s competence in relations between individuals and groups