In my latest reading of The Different Drum: Community Making and Peace, M. Scott Peck talks about the Basement Group, a group that gathered together once a week to discuss spirituality.
In Peck’s story, the Basement Group started with a psychologist named Ralph, who approached a minister named Peter right after the church service. Ralph felt lonely because was a Christian and had no one with whom he could discuss spiritual matters, for people in his profession were not interested in religion, nor was his wife, who hated religion because she was recovering from her fundamentalist background. Peter, meanwhile, did not feel feel that he could discuss spirituality with many of the people in his congregation. Consequently, Ralph and Peter formed a Christian support group. It drew more people, including a few atheists. It also had to try to define boundaries, especially when one member, Ted, continually came to the group drunk. What interested me is that, although this group was an accepting community, the members found that they did not particularly enjoy partying together, and so they decided to keep their focus on spiritual matters.