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Re-Imagining the Community of Mission

Re-Imagining the Community of Mission:
An Introduction to the New Monasticism
DATE: Saturday, May 2nd, 2009
TIME: 9:00 to 3:30
LOCATION: Grandview Calvary Baptist Church
1803 East 1st Ave. Vancouver (parking is available one block east of the church at 1st Ave. and Victoria Drive)
PRICE: $49

First, let go of that image of monasticism you got from Monty Python.
Second, think back to how monastic communities in Christian history preserved a Gospel witness and brought God’s transformation to their communities.
Third, imagine what we could learn from that for today . . .

In a world where community is fragmenting and mission activity is being re-thought, expressions of Christian community are emerging. Individual Christians and congregations are wondering about how to better be a sign of God’s Kingdom and to participate in God’s transforming activity. In the last decades, small communities have emerged across North America that are seeking to live a more radical gospel lifestyle. The recognition that often we have been co-opted by consumerist, secular, and fragmenting forces in our culture has led these communities to look back to the ancient wisdom of monasticism as a source for liberation and renewal.

These are not traditional monastic communities – they don’t wear brown robes and both married couples and single people are involved. They have sought to combine elements of ancient monasticism – such as a shared life, commitment to a place, poverty, and obedience to Christ and the Church – with some new features – such as relocation to abandoned neighbourhoods, racial reconciliation, care for the earth, a shared life with singles and married together, and a commitment to seeking justice for the least.

Within our cities, some people have been taking up these same practices as a way of both
seeking transformation in Christ for their own lives and as a way of participating in God’s transformation of the city.

At this seminar, we will engage in a dialogue with those who have been pursuing these practices, asking some important questions such as:
• What can we learn from new monasticism?
• How might you take up these practices yourself in your own community?
• Can new monasticism be a source of renewal for your community and church?

In case you’re interested, check these links from Christianity Today for some background reading: