Tuesday, January 29, 2008

New Monasticism and Emerging Church

Here are some observations and notes from a conversation we had here the other Sunday evening, based on concluding the discussion series of Shane Claiborne's book "The Irresistible Revolution." It is a good outline, I think, for church planting that seeks to make a real difference.

Passing On Some Words and Thoughts...
At our concluding discussion a few Sunday's ago of Shane Claiborne's book The Irresistible Revolution: living as an ordinary radical, we talked about these aspects and how they related to what we have started in Turley:
1. being considered crazy in a crazy world is a way to stay sane
2. when we do so we follow in the spirit called crazy and worse of Jesus, Paul, and the early church, as well as those who formed the monastic movement keeping alive a communal anti-Empire spirit during the "Dark Ages."
3. We are not alone. In Shane's appendix alone there was one listing of "co-conspirators" of a New Spirit around the country. Another good source is the community links section of http://www.theooze.com/. Also the recent Sojourners magazine has a good article by Tom Sine of Mustard Seed Associates (http://www.msainfo.org/) about this movement, at http://www.sojo.net/index.cfm?action=magazine.article&issue=soj0801&article=080128. "How to live as if another world were already here." Or find the Fall issue of Leadership magazine about ministry with those on the margins. Reports are coming in from all over, as from here. Last night on "A Daily Show" with Jon Stewart, this spirit and contagious spiritual movement was discussed by activist and preacher and author Jim Wallis who has a new book out about blending social justice and spirituality that breaks down walls and moves beyond barriers, The Great Awakening. See more at http://www.sojo.net/index.cfm?action=special.TGA&item=TGA_main.
4. How it is okay, even necessary sometimes to despair of changing one's self or the world, in some ways it is the only path to truer, authentic, real hope as opposed to wishful thinking; just don't get stuck there, for "another world is possible" and "is here" and "is coming".
5. We talked about the "marks of a new monasticism" in our world and how much of what we do here coincides with it. Such as:
a. Relocation to the abandoned places of Empire;
b. sharing resources, nurturing common life for both singles and families, going "glocal;"
c. hospitality to the stranger;
d. reconiciliation of divisions among peoples;
e. connection to the Church which is bigger than any one church;
f. following the way of Christ in community by pledging to have daily prayer/meditation, weekly worship, monthly support group, annual Retreat, and a lifetime pilgrimmage;
and g. caring for the earth and for peace-making.