• The Abbey: A deliberate community of people in Paradise, Calif., committing themselves to making a more integrated life in the way of Jesus.
• Contemplative prayer: The act of emptying ourselves of ourselves within a certain space of time so God might come and fill the void (this can take many forms).
• Deliberate living: A thoughtful way of considering large and small facets and decisions within our lives, toward cohesion and considering our influence on others, the environment and the greater good.
• Guest: Anyone who lives alongside us for a short time so we might practice the discipline of hospitality and Christ's unconditional welcome.
• Novitiate: A period of mutual evaluation where an aspiring novice can determine whether or not she or he wishes to be accepted as an oblate.
• Oblate: Someone who has chosen to live alongside us and embrace our semimonastic rule, and is contemplating taking our vows for a longer but indefinite period of time.
'd never lived in an intentional community, let alone co-founded one. I'd also never worked with wood. The sound of a compound miter saw gnawing through hardwood inspired both a subtle panic and images of severed digits.
Then last year our fledgling Abbey, a semi-residential spiritual community of five adults, three children and various guests, ran out of space around a plastic dinner table handed down from our congregation, Paradise [Calif.] Lutheran.
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