Advert for community living

In the spirit of communities like Simple Way (http://thesimpleway.org/PSC/index.html) in Philadelphia and SEVEN (http://reimagine.org/node/5) in San Francisco , I am seeking out individuals and couples that are interested in joining together to live, share, and serve as a way of making a lasting impact on Central Oregon. Please contact me (Nate) if you are interested. bettger2[at]gmail[dot]com

My hope: to start small with one house (rented or owned) of people living intentionally and deliberately in ways that seek to grow themselves and further their engagement with making a difference in this world… eventually grow to multiple houses… and thereby begin the process of re-creating the village culture in an increasingly individualistic world. Timing of coming together would be spring to summer. Conversations should start now.

The expectation: Personally, I am seeking to live in the way of Jesus and by committing to values that are in line with his life, I hope to make a difference. While it is not necessary for everyone to believe the same things religiously, it is expected that those interested will have a firm grasp on the path that they have chosen and will consistently be seeking to deepen it with an increase of love and desire to live for others and understand their place with God.

It is also expected that those joining at the beginning of this venture will have a firm grasp on their mission and gift to the world? What do you offer others that brings you more joy than anything in the world? How do you know that you are doing what you are supposed to do? If these answers are not clear, there should be a strong desire for discovering them. Much of who we will be as a community is dependent on us challenging each other to live from our deepest gifts.

Finally, it is expected that there will be a mutual agreement to shared rhythms that would be re-looked at by the community every month. It is not that there should be a rigidity or legalistic attitude to the way we live, but to maintain intentionality we will agree to the shared rhythms.

These rhythms might look like the following:

Prayer and Study – As we spend time together in various means of prayer and study (meditation, silence, scripture, books, writing, retreats, etc) we engage our minds, spirits, and bodies together, focusing on the presence of the loving God in every place we go and every person we meet.

  • We maintain a consistent scheduled time DAILY for prayer in whatever way we feel comfortable
  • We gather at specific times weekly to study together.

Service and Vocation – It is our desire to look at our work differently and more creatively. We do not work just to earn money for ourselves. We were created with specific gifts for the purpose of benefiting others and providing for each other in ways that balance resources and provide for needs.

  • Monthly conversations looking very specifically at our jobs and whether we are “working” in ways that develop authenticity and Jesus’ message of the kingdom of God
  • Exchange of services, not just money
  • Serving together as a community (Bend Community Center, homeless, etc.)
  • Providing a way of connecting people with those who are seeking to use their gifts to benefit others

Conversation and Hospitality – It is our desire as a community to invite dialog and questions. We seek to create space where people can feel at home enough to be authentic and to really vocalize their questions. When we gather together for significant amounts of time we begin to see what it means to be family with the world around us. Once we can begin to be in loving dialog with those who are different than us, we can begin to unify as people who want to change our city and world.

  • We make an effort to spend time with and learn from those whose views are very different than us. It is a discipline to come together with opposing ideas and still come away loving each other.
  • Communicating with the Bend community that if people need places to stay they can find them with us when they can contribute in some way to the community life (not money necessarily)
  • Community meals (lots of them)
  • Other opportunities for focused dialog (panel discussions, guest speakers, etc)
  • Viewing our home as a sacred space

Third Places – It is in the third places that people connect. Not home and not work. (Coffee houses, pubs, yoga studios, art studios, skate parks, etc). This is the arena where people get plugged in. It is our hope as a community to begin to build a network of third places that support each other and where we circulate. Here, we live the presence of God to others.


 

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12 thoughts on “Advert for community living”

  1. “While it is not necessary for everyone to believe the same things religiously, it is expected that those interested will have a firm grasp on the path that they have chosen and will consistently be seeking to deepen it with an increase of love and desire to live for others and understand their place with God.”

    Nate, I am intrigued by this statement specifically. What is your vision on ways to accomplish this?

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  2. Bob,
    AWESOME question. One of the things that I have really begun to grab on to is the importance of digging down deep into one path… learning from and respecting the others, but focusing on one. Reason being, there have been thousands upon thousands of years of people diving into discovering God through these various traditions and we do the history a dishonor by piecemealing them and approaching them shallowly.

    When we have dug into the history and sought to learn from it, we then have something to offer. Otherwise we are simple not engaging in the bigger story. So I put this in there in order to make it clear how important this is. At the same time, I still have noted my belief that God is a God, no matter how one approaches God, who desires us to grow in love, unity with him, and to live to serve the world.

    Ways to accomplish this involve much authenticity, respect, and humility as we live, study, and serve together. It is more of a commitment to the value than to specific tasks to make it happen.

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  3. “It is also expected that those joining at the beginning of this venture will have a firm grasp on their mission and gift to the world? What do you offer others that brings you more joy than anything in the world? How do you know that you are doing what you are supposed to do?”

    I would love to hear your answers to these questions, in your own words

    Blessings on your journey,
    Gre

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  4. Greg,
    Sorry it took a while to get back on this one. Been slow with the blogging lately.

    My gift to the world is to model and invite others into authenticity and belonging. When people are with me, I want them to know that they are home… that they are ok. It is my greatest gift to be able to give this with my presence, my vocation, my home, my words, and my shining with the love that God has for the world. My entire life is dedicated to further unifying this purpose in everything that I do.

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