12 Marks of the new monasticism...
1) Relocation to the abandoned places of Empire.
2) Sharing economic resources with fellow community members and the needy among us.
3) Hospitality to the stranger
4) Lament for racial divisions within the church and our communities combined with the active pursuit of a just reconciliation.
5) Humble submission to Christ’s body, the church.
6) Intentional formation in the way of Christ and the rule of the community along the lines of the old novitiate.
7) Nurturing common life among members of intentional community.
8) Support for celibate singles alongside monogamous married couples and their children.
9) Geographical proximity to community members who share a common rule of life.
10) Care for the plot of God’s earth given to us along with support of our local economies.
11) Peacemaking in the midst of violence and conflict resolution within communities along the lines of Matthew 18.
12) Commitment to a disciplined contemplative life.
(Source simple way website)
We were quite inspired in our move by the work on Shane Claiborne, Jonathan Wilson Hartgrove, Scott Bessenecker, John Perkins and some friends locally who were beginning to experiment with these ideas... subsequently we have had the privilege of developing friendships with lots people in groups like UNOH, Servant Partners, Servant to Asia's poor, Innerchange, Word made flesh, Oasis, Message Trust, and even spent time with some Catholic nuns and discussed their vows and rule of life. There are many other folk who are practicing radical incarnational living in communities on the margins who also don't belong to these groups formally. We have also found many new resources subsequently that continue to impact us - including the books of Ash Barker and others. We have so much to learn and these folk are HUGE resources. Two transforming questions which we asked which have defined a lot of our journey have been: "what is the biggest challenge facing the world, our nation and our communities at the moment?" and "what does Christian witness look like into these issues?". When we look at the issues of consumerism, materialism, individualism, racism, abuse of power etc. and then ask how do we live in a radical kingdom way and become a sign of hope into the world, this then shapes what our testimony can look like.
We had an incredible time on the streets tonight. We went into one of the normal alleyways we visit and sat down and read the Sermon on the Mount together. These words of Jesus are compelling and every time we read this people are profoundly moved. I asked at the end what had stood out for people. What was most profound was that the only real difference in the response of these homeless people to the response to the question when we have asked it of our friends from the suburbs in our lounge after reading it was the context it was applied in. Different parts of this sermon seem to touch each person in a different way each time it is read. One homeless friend spoke of his struggle with judgmentalism at people as he parked cars when they treated him badly and spoke of his wanting to look at people with more love, another spoke of his attitude towards woman and his fresh desire to them with respect them after hearing the words about lust. For me tonight I was challenged about always trying to take out the speck out of someone else's eye while there is a log in mine. Afterwards we spent time in prayer and speaking words of affirmation and love to people. This was particularly moving. It was beautiful to see community in action - a homeless women sharing hurts, dreams and desires tearfully and being embraced and comforted by another homeless woman. A mute homeless guy comforting another homeless friend who shared his desire for reconciliation with his family and desperation to be free from drugs. Life is truly beautiful. #inspired #moved #ExcitedAbout2014