21 August 2015

In hopes of community

This past year, Matthijs and I came to the conclusion that we'd really like to live in some kind of intentional community again. Finding a way to do that has been a challenge, though: do we buy a house and then sublet a room or two? Buy a duplex or 4-plex and rent out part of it to people willing to join us in trying to do intentional community? Does it include becoming foster parents? Or do we hope for something more along the lines of new monasticism or the catholic worker, even though such communities seem to be few and far between?

Besides the question of how is the question of when. Our lease ends at the end of August, making that an obvious time to start on a new adventure of community.

Next week we move into "The Firehouse," with the hope and intention of participating in the re-invigoration of the intentional community that used to live in the building. There are two apartments upstairs, which can comfortably hold 5 people. There are 2 people already living there, and we are excited to work together with them in this crazy adventure of community. On top of that, there is already an established community, connected to a church plant that was held in the firehouse building, that cares about reaching out to the neighbourhood. There is also an established church, also connected to that church plant, that is taking over the building. This church is very open to seeing how their own hopes and visions related to an alternative worship group and their ministry to young adults might be able to work alongside with the intentional community that will be living upstairs.

We're excited about this new adventure we're embarking on - of having our living situation be more conducive to living out community. At the same time, in the last few weeks I've been reminded of how much we already are surrounded by a community of people who care about us. These are some of the ways in which I've experienced that care:
- being asked about how it is going (including asking specifically about the Firehouse and wanting to hear about how my family is doing with my dad having health difficulties this last month);
- having others inquiring about my dissertation (and recognize that's a complicated question), but also simply people willing to plan writing dates together;
- being encouraged and supported in challenging times;
- recognizing others desire that things go well both with me and with Matthijs and that we are both using our gifts here;
- experiencing the passion of others for the work of Campus Edge and who are more than willing to come alongside me (and both encourage and challenge me) in the hopes that by so doing the ministry  might be better.

My hope of having more community in my life has helped me become more thankful (and even more hopeful and expectant) as I recognize how God has already been answering that prayer.

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