by | Jun 3, 2024

Community, Community, Community

Community isn’t something that happens by accident. It takes commitment and effort, but it’s well worth the results. Find out how researchers investigating heart disease in the town of Roseto in Pennsylvania stumbled across a rather surprising insight. 

Have you ever said your name over and over again to the point where it stops having any meaning? Weird isn’t it?

One of the words we love to use here at Cinnamon is community.  We talk about community engagement, community development, community transformation, community partnership, community outreach, community resilience, community, community community…

Does anyone know what community even means anymore?

Roseto Effect

Well, have you ever heard of the Roseto Effect? Back in the 1960s, the small town of Roseto in Pennsylvania became the centre of a major scientific study.

At the time heart disease was a leading killer in the US. Doctors were drawn to Roseto because of the extraordinarily low rates of heart disease here. This was a town where people just didn’t die!

But get this – this was also a place where the staple diet was spaghetti and meatballs fried in lard. The men smoked cigars, drank wine with abandon and sport was something people watched rather than participated in! It just didn’t make sense!

But what this town had was something really special it had…. community. The whole town would unite to celebrate births, marriages, Easter, Christmas and anything else of significance.

Everyone knew everyone. Generations lived together. People looked after each other.

In short, no one was lonely. EVER. This was community at its best. Sounds simple, right? Wrong.

Community is hard

Over the years the town of Roseto has changed. The bonds that united the people so tightly have decayed and its mortality rate is now on a par with the rest of the US. Community is so important. It doesn’t need to be complicated. But it’s hard to establish and maintain.

It’s something that the team here at Cinnamon knows a fair bit about. Over the past 10 years, we’ve been helping churches to build community.

This little video, which sums how we do it, just happens to be one of my faves. If you’re serious about building community, then you might also be interested in our Cinnamon Connect Academy.  It’s a nine-month course where you’ll learn everything about social action and how to build brilliant projects and connect with people. We’re about to open applications for 2024.

Ping me an email, [email protected] and I’ll make sure you’re the first to know when we open.

As we can see from the Roseto Effect, good community isn’t just life-giving, it’s life-saving.

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