October 14, 2008

An Experiment...

An Experiment in Kingdom Living

We wish to create and maintain a community that is daily devoted to enacting God’s kingdom on earth. We will consistently pursue to learn and live God’s way. The rules that follow are to serve as a framework for our way of life.

Our Vision

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.

To love God. To love people. To follow Jesus.

Our Commitments
• Live simply so we can be freer to love.
• Live generously so we can be freed from any attachment to material possessions and give more sacrificially.
• Live on the margins so we can love the sick and poor as Jesus did.
• Live communally because God does. Plus, we’re better off together than alone.
• Live vulnerable, joy filled lives so we can keep a child-like faith.
• Live loving both enemies and friends relentlessly as Jesus did.
• Live a life of service to one master—God.
• Live a shared life with others—sharing in their burdens and triumphs.

Our Values

We will follow Mat. 25:31-40 and work to see the face of Jesus in every person we encounter. Our desire is to love all of God’s children as they are – fearfully and wonderfully made. We will actively work against any powers that try to damage that image while trying to restore and reconcile both the oppressed and the oppressor.

In order to better serve and love “the least of these” we choose to live on the fringe of society. Jesus always went to where the hurt¬ing were in order to heal, restore, and set free those in bondage.

We will strive to live with only what we need, not what we want. We are committed to love, which demands simplicity.

Community is built through long periods of time spent together, not through “touch and go” programs. We will devote four days to the neighborhood we find ourselves in.

Listen and Imagine
We believe that the parable in Mat. 25:31-40 is meant to be lived out literally. We will identify what the greatest needs are in the neighborhood and will work diligently with the people to meet those needs through creativity. (This may include elderly care, ESL, job creation, tutoring, soup kitchen, hospital visits, hostel, etc.)

It is crucial for the community to be drinking the water that will become a spring welling up to eternal life. We are committed to the Eucharist, daily study and prayer. We will also observe specific times for Biblical and non-Biblical readings.

Our Functionality

Rest is necessary for all members of the community. One day a week, one week a month will be a time for silence and retreat. Members of the community will be urged to go elsewhere for their retreat so they can simply enjoy God’s company.

Generous Commonality
We agree to give sacrificially to the house out of our possessions and income (beyond our tithe). Everything that goes into the community house becomes shared property and if a situation arises we will not hesitate to give to those who are in need. A spe¬cific fund will be used to cover food and other project expenses that directly benefit the neighborhood.

We will maintain a room for rent, and whoever lives there will pay a minimal monthly fee and will receive all the money back in the end as well as the furniture. The room’s furnishings are to be provided by those people who God calls to give.

We will inform ourselves of the injustices present in our local community and work to counter them through finding a “third way”. This may include learning how to make our own clothes or visiting other communities to learn about how they are living “off the grid”.

We will work to restore the beauty of our neglected neighborhood. This may include rehabilitating houses, picking up trash, etc.

We will plant and maintain a garden that will feed the house and neighborhood. This fosters our heart for God’s creation and further frees us from consumer culture.

Community Meals
We agree to cooking meals together in a weekly rhythm. Once a week, the community will have a shared meal with people from the neighborhood. We will ask nothing in return.

Family Connection
We will meet weekly over a meal to discuss points of business as well as to share ideas and struggles. There will also be a monthly family event for members of the community to rest and bond with one another.

Prayer Walks
We will follow Jesus’ footsteps in “weeping over Jerusalem” as we pray over our city and neighborhood. We hope this will facilitate meetings, sharing stories and prayer with our neighbors.

Cars inform individualism and negatively impact the environ¬ment. We choose to walk or ride bicycles as much as possible to allow ourselves to be interrupted by Jesus in the least of these.

In an effort to free ourselves from things that consume us, we will not use computers in the home.

Jesus told his disciples to “come and see”. We believe discipleship happens best when those who want to follow Jesus participate in doing his work within the context of community. Times of study and work would help to center us around the way of Jesus and would teach us how to be his body to the world.

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