When I was child there used to be this thing they had called a "Bible Study." People would get together and read the Bible, rather than a book about it, rather than abstractly discuss their own existential, marital, job, or other struggles. They fell out of favor somewhere along the way and were replaced by an innovation in the genre of Christian togetherness called "Small Groups." These allowed a nimble flexibility where the group could end up not doing much of anything other than chat if that felt like the appropriate thing at the moment. In my experience, these discussions often center, with alarming frequency on men's struggles with pornography. But as fate would have it, this iteration, I guess, came to seem atomistic and individual-centered. So the togetherness was then rebranded with the title "Community Groups" or some variation on that theme which is a very utilitarian name for a very utilitarian concept. The goal of these groups is to create something synthetically which naturally only occurs... well, naturally. That history, especially the latter part, came to mind when I came across this Michael Oakeshott quote:
"Friends are not concerned with what might be made of one another, but only with the enjoyment of one another; and the condition of this enjoyment is a ready acceptance of what is and the absence of any desire to change or to improve. A friend is not somebody one trusts to behave in a certain manner, who supplies certain wants, who has certain useful abilities, who possesses certain merely agreeable qualities, or who holds certain acceptable opinions…The relationship of friend to friend is dramatic, not utilitarian; the tie is one of familiarity, not usefulness..."
Not that I'm one to talk.