Some ideas for an intentional community grass roots ecumenism...while reflecting on some contemporary Biblical Spiritual Manifestos:
Shakertown Pledge—Recognising that the earth & the fullness thereof is a gift from our gracious God, & that we are called to cherish, nurture, & provide loving stewardship for the earth's resources; And recognising that life itself is a gift, & a call to responsibility, joy & celebration--I make the following declaration:
I declare myself to be a world citizen
I commit myself to lead an ecologically sound life
I commit myself to lead a life of creative simplicity and to share my personal wealth with the world’s poor
I commit myself to join with others in the reshaping of institutions in order to bring about a more just global society in which all people have full access to the needed resources for their physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual growth
I commit myself to occupational accountability, and in so doing I will seek to avoid the creation of products which cause harm to others
I affirm the gift of my body and commit myself to its proper nourishment and physical well-being
I commit myself to examine continually my relations with others, and to attempt to relate honestly, morally, and lovingly to those around me
I commit myself to personal renewal through prayer, meditation, and study
I commit myself to responsible participation in a community of faith
(The Shakertown Pledge originated when a group of religious retreat centre directors gathered at the site of a restored Shaker village near Harrodsburg, Kentucky. A number of us were personally moved by the global poverty-ecology crisis we saw all around us, & we covenanted together to reduce our levels of consumption, to share our personal wealth with the world's poor, & to work for a new social order in which all people have equal access to the resources they need. We have since been joined by others. We believe that all people of faith should take this pledge. We know from the Scriptures that we are commanded to make the cause of the poor & the oppressed our own. If we are truly to practice our faith, then we cannot sit idly by while others starve. It's as simple as that) --From Taking Charge by Simple Living Collective and American Friends Service Committee (1977), one of precursors to the Voluntary Simplicity movement.
Subversive Orthodoxy: Traditional Faith & Radical Commitment By Kenneth Leech
The marks of redeemed communities focusing on liberating faith (p.41…): 1. They would be baptismal communities
2. They would be eucharistic communities
3. They would be communities of ‘biblical people’
4. They would communities of a spirituality of struggle, rational inquiry, reflection, debate and truth seeking
5. They will be inclusive communities
6. They will be communities of expectation and vision
There are features of an Anglican Christian Rite that are traditional but 'critically orthodox': rooted in a historic and contemporary Anglican existence but lived among grass-roots communities that are paradoxically often neglected and oppressed
It attempts within Anglicanism to hold together a commitment to a historic faith and openness to new insights
Within this Anglicanism is a rich tradition of 'sacramental materialism’
It can manifest itself as moving toward a renewed spirituality that is:
A renewed Christian spirituality that will be concerned with the recovery of the vision of God in the contemporary world
A renewed Christian spirituality that will be rooted in the experience of God in the life of the Jewish Hebrew people—which speaks of God’s holiness and justice in personal and social life
A renewed Christian spirituality that will find its center in Jesus Christ, seeking in Him the fullness of the Godhead dwelling bodily
A renewed Christian spirituality that will look to the faith of the Apostolic Church as exhibited in the New Testament: the faith in God who brings unity to the human race…
A renewed Christian spirituality that will be a spirituality of the desert
A renewed Christian spirituality that will be a spirituality of cloud and darkness
A renewed Christian spirituality that will be a spirituality of water and of fire, of cleansing and purifying, of renewal and spiritual warmth
A renewed Christian spirituality that will be rooted in the Word made flesh
A renewed Christian spirituality that will be a eucharistic spirituality
A renewed Christian spirituality that will be a spirituality of pain, seeing in the passion and death of Jesus the heart of the Gospel
A renewed Christian spirituality that will learn from the mystical writers to see God as the ground of all reality and of our own beings
A renewed Christian spirituality that will take seriously the experience of God in women’s history
A renewed Christian spirituality that will be a spirituality of justice and of peace
TAIZE: :Four proposals in order to be “salt of the earth” Brother Alois 2015
The letter “Towards a New Solidarity” (2012-2015) continues to express the essentials of the common journey that is leading us to August 16, 2015, the tenth anniversary of Brother Roger’s entrance into the life of eternity (see the program for the year 2015 below). Here are four proposals in order to be “salt of the earth”.
First proposal: Sharing with those around us a zest for life “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its flavour, how can it be made salty again?” (Matthew 5:13)
To be salt of the earth is a gift from God that we want to welcome with joy. By being salt of the earth, we can communicate a zest for life. And when we make life beautiful for those entrusted to us, our life becomes meaningful. If, faced with the great number of obstacles, we ask ourselves: “Why keep on struggling?” we should remember that just a little salt is enough to give flavour. Through prayer, we learn to look at ourselves as God looks at us; God sees our gifts, our abilities. Not losing our flavour means committing ourselves body and soul, and trusting the gifts of God within us.
Can we seek for ourselves and for others what causes us to grow and leads to fulfillment?
Second proposal: Committing ourselves to reconciliation “When you are offering your gift at the altar, if you realize that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there and first go and be reconciled to him or her.” (Matthew 5:23-24)
In all of us there is the aspiration to live together as one human family, but that does not happen by itself, neither in a family, nor with friends, nor in our cities and towns, nor between nations. When Christians are reconciled, they become a sign in the midst of a humanity that is seeking its own unity. There are situations where reconciliation is urgent. To commit ourselves to this, we need to understand the fears that imprison others in prejudices; we should also realize that other people may have something against us. The Gospel calls us not to transmit around us or to the next generation resentments inherited from the past.
Can we dare to encourage encounters between people who do not share the same ideas, the same way of life or the same religion, who do not come from the same culture or the same social background? Can we get to know one another, can we invite each other to visit? Can we find the courage to ask for forgiveness and to forgive?
Third proposal: Working for peace “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)
Peace is more than the absence of conflict. It is happiness; it gives everyone their rightful place; it is fullness of life. When we welcome God’s peace within us, it extends to those around us and to all creatures. The desire for peace makes our heart more encompassing and fills it with compassion for all. It comes to expression in an attitude of hospitality and kindness in our families, in our neighbourhoods, in our daily activities. Peace is also at the root of justice on a larger scale. In societies where luxury and poverty exist side by side, should we be surprised that different forms of violence arise? Sharing wealth relieves tensions and is a major contribution to the common good. Some people make a commitment to promote peace by taking on responsibilities in the public life of their country — in an association, in the company where they work, by serving people with special needs.
Can we go towards someone for whom there is no peace? How can we be particularly attentive to migrants? Can we discern situations of injustice and give protection to those who are vulnerable? Can we identify modern forms of slavery? Can we join others to pray for peace, for example by remaining in silence every Sunday evening for half an hour?
Fourth proposal: Taking care of our earth “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5)
The gentle are those who do not impose themselves. They make room for others. They do not monopolize the earth. Gentleness is not resignation but mastery of the violent impulses within us. The earth is not our property. It is entrusted to us; we are called to look after it. The resources of our planet are not unlimited. We have a duty of solidarity among individuals and peoples, and for future generations. In the way we consume and use natural resources, a good balance needs to be found between basic needs and the desire always to have more. To find a style of life that allows sustainable development, all our skills of imagination and creativity are required. They must be put to use in daily life and also stimulate scientific research, artistic inspiration, and the invention of new projects for society.
Can we examine the way we live and seek to simplify what may be artificial and what is excessive? Simplifying our lives can be a source of happiness. How can we open up spaces for sharing: what can we give and receive? We should not forget to praise God for creation. For this, times of rest and contemplation are essential.
"We must not separate from the Gospel--true community or social justice--for they are the very lifestyle of the Cross that shape who we are as Church in the Spirit.
For this is the true sense of the statement of Christ that,'I have come not for those who are well, but for those who are sick'(Matt.9:9-13).
It is the Mercy of God in being human as learning to encounter the Presence of sacred wholeness that matters most"
FIFTEEN TOP REASONS TO PRAY CONTEMPLATIVELY DAILY:
1. Because we live in the richest part of the world,as the richest Christians in history and yet where 2/3 of the world go to bed hungry at night so we must pray for a world of mercy, justice and equality starting with ourselves
2. God has given us the beautiful gift of this country house to live in so it can be a sacred space as a prayer retreat house to renew our spirit, our church, our community, our world
3. Because prayer is cultivating God’s Presence in our life through the energy of the Holy Spirit
4. We must go beyond belief into the mystical depth of prayer into the very Heart of God
5. Without contemplative prayer we cannot hear the still voice of God
6. Wordless prayer gives us Contemplative vision, wisdom and discernment of our spiritual gifts
7. Because deep prayer is the Wisdom way of knowing in solidarity with all spiritual beings of God
8. We will only experience the Transfiguration Of Jesus through inner Mystical prayer
9. The Mind must descend into the Heart and it is only possible through contemplative prayer
10. Spiritual, emotional and physical Healing are only possible through an intense inner prayer life
11. Christian Unity can only truly happen where two or three gather together in mindfulness prayer
12. Because our life/style of the Kingdom of God is the reign of Christ’s Presence cultivated in prayer
13. Only Contemplative Seeing through prayer respects and restores God’s Creation
14. Only adoration prayer of Jesus’ Cross of Love can get us through whatever suffering, pain or injustice we may see or experience
15. Only constant and persistent prayer breaks through the roof obstacles and wall barriers of our personal and spiritual foes