New Monasticism seeks to take the positive aspects of the monastic tradition from the past and apply them to life today. Richard explains his experience of getting involved in this movement and what it taught him about meaningful community – lessons that have stuck with him even after returning to ‘regular church’.
There is a growing trend of students having a mentor to support them in their studies. Simon explores going further and surrounding ourselves with a whole team of people to help see us through. While a mentor would have a place in this team, there is a need for others too.
We all bring baggage with us when we approach Scripture. It might be personality quirks like introversion and self-reliance, or culturally conditioned philosophical concepts like individualism. These things act as static that we must try and tune out. When we do, we are better placed to hear what Scripture teaches on community.
In this book, Becket Cook tells the reader what it was like to be immersed in the gay lifestyle on the US West Coast, and how the world looks from that perspective: “I wanted everyone to be free to be who they were with wild abandon and without shame, completely comfortable in their own skin.”
It is often quite strange to look back over my life and see where God has brought me, sometimes with my full awareness, at other times organising events in the background. It would be great to say that my journey has been straight forward and pain-free, but that wouldn’t be honest or accurate.
Our pastor recently preached a Sunday morning sermon on marriage and the family. He prayed for “our marriages and families” at the end and then added the line, “and we also pray for those who are single.” He might just as well have said, “and Gary too”, since I was the only single person there!