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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Five things to try in your congregation

The February issue of The Lutheran magazine introduces readers to The Abbey, a ministry of Paradise [Calif.] Lutheran Church. The Abbey is an intentional Christian community offering a residence and focus on self-examination.

Bible and nature
The Abbey, a ministry of Paradise [Calif.] Lutheran Church, is an intentional Christian community offering a residence and focus on self-examination. Scriptures and passages from prayer book surround "everything we do," Joshua Price, abbot, said.

• Read "Called to the table: In one Californina Lutheran community, carpentry meets self-examination"
• Read "Communal perspectives: An interview with four Abbey members"


Abbot Joshua Price offers the following five ways congregations and their members can explore intentional communal life — without necessarily living together.

1. Invite three or four individuals and families to sign up on a first-come, first-served basis for a communal weekend experiment. Pick a space in your church to sleep. Determine ministry projects to undertake over a weekend that serve your contexts outside of the church. Prepare and eat meals together. Encourage participants to take notes or share what aspects of this were enjoyable or challenging.

2. Commit to a dinner with at least three other individuals or families where there is no planned menu. See what the meals become when everyone brings whatever they wish. Celebrate the eucharist, employing whatever elements you have on hand (maybe tortillas and sangria or flatbread and water), just as believers did in the early church.

The rest of this article is only available to subscribers.

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September issue

SEPTEMBER issue:

Reinventing Sunday school

More...