As many of you know, Beth and I have plans to move to Denver in the very near future. It has been a journey of dreaming and planning with friends from Eastern University. It has been difficult for us to tell friends and family exactly what we will be doing because we have yet to nail down specifics. What we do know is that we are all rallying around the idea of a New Monasticism, which began with Eastern Alumni: Shane Claiborne, Chris Haw, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove and others. Beth and I were introduced to the idea of the New Monasticism when we started attending a church in Philadelphia and by connecting with people and groups while at Eastern.
What is this all about? A brief description from one of Wilson-Hartgrove's book describes this all quite easily:
"New Monasticism is a growing movement of committed Christians who are recovering the radical discipleship of monasticism and unearthing a fresh expression of Christianity in America. It’s not centered in a traditional monastery (many New Monastics are married with children) but instead its members live radically, settling in abandoned sections of society, committing to community, sharing incomes, serving the poor, and practicing spiritual disciplines."
As Beth and I made our way through our education at Eastern, we found our worldview changing. We began to see the world through the eyes of the poor and oppressed. We began to see history as written by the marginalized. As these things happened a new found potency in the gospel of Christ began to recharge and energize a faith in Christ that had begun to grow tired and disillusioned by our evangelical backgrounds. For the first time in a long time the words of Christ convicted and motivated us to make real and radical changes to our lifestyle.
It just so happened that we found others like us. It just so happened that models of a new life were being created only 13 miles away in Philadelphia (The Simple Way, The Camden House, etc.) and all of a sudden things were falling into place.
Good friends of ours, Brittany and Adam Baltimore-Beach came from a church community in Denver which got behind some of its congregants in purchasing two homes a block away from the Church. All of sudden things were falling into place.
Years later a group of 7-10 young, married, engaged, and single Christians committed to the idea of a New Monasticism, and decided to make a very real choice to live out a radical life of Christ following in Denver, CO. Beth and I are among them. We are very excited about where God is leading us, and we hope that you will continue to check back here for updates. We would love to hear your thoughts, and we would love to talk to you about all of this more in person sometime.
We love you all.
Mark and Beth
some links for you:
Claiborne's Book An Irresistible Revolution
Claibrone and Hawe's new book Jesus for President