Building communities. One relationship at a time.
In 1996, two organizations striving independently to help people experience genuine community in their living and working environments decided to combine their efforts and call themselves the Institute For Community. Marquette Companies, a real estate development and management company, wanted to give back to the neighborhoods they stewarded and create extraordinary value for residents. At the same time, Community Christian Church wanted to bring faith back into people’s lives through daily interaction and meaningful relationships.
Marquette saw the tremendous potential of these church-based relationships for its residents and CCC realized the opportunity Marquette represented with neighborhood-level access to communities on a daily basis. The creation of the IFC allowed these opportunities to overlap, helping both entities engage in real relationships. Through friendship, membership, partnership and ownership, the IFC provides people with a sense of true belonging and influence in their communities, which helps them build lasting, meaningful relationships.
“I am a part of all that I have met.”
– Alfred Tennyson
Over the last two decades, the ease of technology and the appeal of a global community have made isolation increasing easy in our everyday lives. We often live in one location and work in another, spending free time across town from our immediate communities. Technology has afforded us diverse opportunities for long-distance connection, widening our networks without deepening our bonds and allowing us to cycle through interactions without actually looking people in the eye, feeling human touch, or hearing a voice in person. As human beings, we were created to be in relationship with each other. We all seek to belong, to find meaning in the context of our lives, to be understood in the presence of others. When we don’t consider the opportunity costs of our commuter mindset, we miss the opportunity to connect on a personal level, we aren’t able to invest in any one community, and ultimately we don’t nurture a sense of place for ourselves or others.
Considering that we are a part of all we have met, our quality of life then is the sum of our relationships. If we encourage weak and distant connections, we undermine the very nature of our fulfillment.
The Institute for Community exists to remedy this imbalance.