For the first time in a long time I have a summer entirely free. I began thinking of different things I could do and various places I could visit when I thought about visiting a New Monastic Community or two. I live in the Bonhoeffer House here in Dallas TX and so I am curious to see what other models of New Monasticism look like. The first two places that came to mind were the Rutba House and Simple Way. These communities are best known for their residents Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove and Shane Claiborne respectively. I thought about making a road trip up to Philly where Simple Way is and stopping in Durham to visit the Rutba House on the way. As I began to look at how long the trip was I also realized that there are numerous New Monastic Houses on the way to and from Philly and so I should try to stop at some of them as well. I called to share my idea with Dr. Elaine Heath, a professor of evangelism at Perkins and the driving force behind the Epworth Project. After talking with her I sat down with the other guys at Bonhoeffer to see if they would want to join me in this journey. Jonathan quickly hopped on board and George and Adam may be joining us for at least part of the trip.
We have played around with the dates and the locations numerous times but as of now we plan to leave July 10th and return on July 23rd. The places we hope to visit are Common Ground in Shreveport, LA, Alterna in LaGrange, GA, Koinonia Farms in Americus, GA, Area 15 in Charlotte, NC, Rutba House in Durham, NC, Mission Year in Atlanta, GA, and the Perkins Center in Jackson MS. We chose a rather diverse group of New Monastic Houses and communities in hopes to find new models but hopefully find a central theme of living intentionally with a foundation of Christ's love.
The next aspect of this trip that came to us was to document it. We are really excited about all that we will be learning and so we want to share the knowledge with others. This blog will serve as part of the documenting process but we also hope to make a documentary. This is where you can come in. None of us have any skills nor equipment in order to make this documentary a reality. If you or anyone you know makes films and can do so on a low budget then we would love you to have them contact us, or give us their contact info. We would also appreciate any other form of support such as: gas cards, recording equipment, editing equipment/skills, cash money, prayers, or just passing on the info by sharing this blog.