It was easy to select the communities that I wanted to visit on my first tour. (Yes, I am already planning more!) Here are the reasons:
- Geographically they were close enough for me to take a one day bus trip to each one.
- They share my values. I have researched them all very thoroughly and feel confident that they share my values and goals and are a key parts of the vision and goals that I share here.
- They have been around for more than a decade. They have staying power. Except for the Third Way which is connected to Woodland Hills Church which has been around a while.
- I believe they are approachable. So far, I have contacted two communities and both have been very encouraging.
Here are the communities I plan to approach to visit:
Reba Place Fellowship near Chicago: “We are followers of Jesus Christ, freely sharing life and resources with one another and with our neighbors in order to demonstrate God’s peace and justice in the world.” I am currently having a dialogue with folks at Reba and looks like the light is green for my visit.
Their rural sister community, Plow Creek: “A global village practicing the peace of Jesus.”
Third Way in St. Paul, Minnesota: “We are a young Mennonite community of followers of Jesus Christ, committed to love like God, to follow Jesus life and teachings, center our lives around community, and work for the reconciliation of all people to God and each other. ” They are associated with Woodland Hills Church
Woodland Hills Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota: This is the only place that I plan to visit which is not an intentional community because I consider Greg Boyd, senior pastor, to be the main spiritual teacher in my life that feeds me and points me to live out practically the teachings of Jesus. I really hope to meet him in person. He is also into building a network of like-minded Christians in the organization ReKnew which I wholeheartedly support.
If possible, I might squeeze in a Thrive seminar after my visit to Reba. You can find out more info here. http://www.thrivetoday.org/thrive2012july.html
My plan is to stay week in each area, attending the church service of the community. I hope to stay in the actual community in their guest quarters or just on the floor or in a tent outside. I am flexible! I will travel by bus or train or if people give me rides–that is all the better. I won’t hitchhike, I promise! I will be gone 4-5 weeks.
The Simple Way in Philadelphia, Pennsyvania. “We have a dream of a village in the middle of the urban desert – with a little cluster of row homes sprinkled about and a neighborhood where folks are committed to God and to each other. ” Founded by Shane Claiborne, author of a book that tremendously inspired me “The Irresistible Revolution. “
Koinonia: Americus, Georgia. “Koinonia is a Christian farm community founded in 1942 by Clarence & Florence Jordan and Martin & Mabel England. Home of the Cotton Patch Gospel, birthplace of Habitat for Humanity, Jubilee Partners, Prison Jail Project, Fuller Center for Housing and other ministries. Still growing pecans and peanuts, welcoming visitors, and living the “demonstration plot for the Kingdom of God.” I have been accepted to be a visitor there.