THE MEANING OF OIKOS
The word oikos is an ancient Greek word meaning household and refers to three related but distinct concepts: the family, the family's property, and the house. It was also often used in a much broader sense to include extended family, neighbors, coworkers and friends, and all those whom we come into regular contact with.
The Oikos Project seeks to bring hope, healing, and delight to communities through hospitality, guidance, and shared life experiences.
Just in the last couple of decades, our ability to connect with people around the globe has exploded.
In 2017, worldwide annual air passenger numbers exceeded four billion for the first time. Improvements in global economic conditions and the introduction of online shopping has allowed us to much more easily and quickly acquire everyday amenities with just the click of a button.
The internet has allowed us to chat, join newsgroups, online communities, or email anyone in the world. Advances in cellphone and smartphone technology have made it possible for us to stay connected, continuously, to people even when we were away from our desks and outside of our homes.
In 2019, it is estimated that there will be around 2.77 billion social media users around the globe. These social networks allow us to connect with our neighbors, childhood friends, college buddies, and coworkers with a few taps and swipes.
Never in human history has worldwide travel, the exchange of goods and ideas, or communicating with people been so simple and accessible. So you'd think we'd all feel pretty known and satisfied because of a greater connection to the world, access to stuff, and all-encompassing social lives, right?
Unfortunately, these advances have not helped us feel more connected with anyone. In fact, studies show almost half of us feel lonely and isolated. It is becoming more and more evident that our increasing use of social media and lack of pursuing real genuine ties to a local social life is what is leading to our isolated nature. The United States, in particular, has experienced a steady decline in social connectedness over the past years as travel, technology and social media have advanced.
In today’s over-connected world, it is easy to overlook the fact that we all need reciprocal friendships and communities of genuine care right where we live if we are to grow and flourish. As is often said, “We are meant to bloom where we are planted.”
Starting with one of the most basic components of community, the family, we want to take a faith-filled approach to engaging with people in our immediate communities through simple expressions of generosity, love, and kindness coupled with heartfelt hospitality, face-to-face interactions, and meaningful conversations.
We hope to inspire a movement of people who are hungry and thirsty for deeper connection and authentic community. We want to journey with others in reacquainting ourselves with practices of cultivating a life in common, instead of being held hostage by the individualistic and distracted tendencies that make up the society around us.
By living, working and sharing together, we hope to reawaken the possibilities of experiencing life-giving relationships and finding simple pleasure in the abundance of provisions that are right in front of us.
AN EMPHASIS ON FOOD & GATHERING AROUND THE TABLE