Be brave!  Read this post even though the title looks terribly dry.   I’ll do my best to make it a bit interesting, though I’m feeling Monday  disorientation.  Monday is the morning of the week, and I’m a night owl.  It’s not that I don’t like the morning (or Monday), I’m just usually not overly coherent.  Mornings are the part of the day when I stare off blankly a lot as if I’m hoping to see my mind in the distance returning to me.  And Mondays are the breaking dawn of the week when I can tend to feel a bit  out of it all day.  So, my apologies on the last blog and perhaps apologies on this one too.

So here’s the short and sweet of it.  New Monasticism refers to a recently surging Christian movement where people are deciding to live in intentional communities together, sharing resources, and living among the urban poor.  There is an emphasis on community spiritual disciplines and simplicity.  I love this stuff like a hog loves slop,  like a chicken loves to scratch, and like Cher loves to perform- necessarily, habitually, and endlessly.  (Did I mention that I’m scheming up a community on the Mediterranean coast?  It’s something I like to think about anyway.)  If you like to read books to learn about these sorts of things, check out “New Monasticism” by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove,  or maybe “New Friars” by Scott Bessenecker.  A real good starter is “Irresistible Revolution” by Shane Claiborne.  Ok, so I haven’t read the first two, but they would be good launching pads I think.  And Shane’s book may seem a bit overly chatty, but it has great ideas to engage with.  

And Reform.  It was interesting to look at the protests of the early Protestants and to consider the role that technology and societal structures played into getting the Bible into the non-clergy’s hands.  It is also interesting and sad to see the struggle that goes on in the midst of change.  Some of the people calling for reforms then turned harshly and violently on other reformers.  And it is interesting to see how today Lutherans are hardly seen as movers and shakers.  I wonder what  the New Monastics will look like  in a couple hundred years?

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