God, Each Other and the World
A Community of Communities
What is the Basic DNA, the common vocation that draws together people who have a desire for God, a longing to give themselves fully to a simpler way of living, growing together through daily struggle in love and from that place to reach out to the world? How do we grow in authentic Christian Community living enriched by both tradition and creativity?
The Anglican Religious Communities got together from 4th - 7th July to talk, meet, discuss and engage with each other. Here are two reflections on the conference that brought together traditional, acknowledged and emerging communities to become, for a few days at least a 'Community of Communities'.
Ian Mobsby from the Wellspring Community writes -
Following the first ever joint conference held for the coming together of participants of the recognised, acknowledged and emerging religious communities associated with the Church of England in Whitby two years ago, this second gathering and conference built on the relationships established in the first conference. In many ways the week felt like a natural coming together of what Bishop David Walker called ‘a Community of Communities’. It has been an exciting time for mutual exploration and understanding, breaking down the misconceptions, misunderstandings and cynicism between new and traditional religious communities. It has been a great success and synthesis of challenge and encouragement for all those who attended.
Sister Rachel CAH (Community of All Hallows) writes -
Set amidst green hills, sea within walking distance, with brilliant sunshine and blue skies; joining together with communities in habits and out, living dispersed or together, established, newly or older, some emerging or yet to emerge.
A welcome, warm and friendly, from an international community of volunteers, each giving time to Lee Abbey and its guests in various ways. The theme ‘God, each other and the world’ explored in each session in a different way, with both traditional and newer communities leading; yet, in retrospect, the theme was also present outside those sessions.
In the worship, the chatting with each other and the Lee Abbey Community, in walks and time alone, we were still participating with God, each other and the world. There was a courage to be honest about some of our anguish, as well as an affirmation that the Holy Spirit is living and moving.
Ultimately, for me, it was about love: God’s love for us, and our receptivity to it; God’s love for each one of us, for those we share our lives with; God’s love for our world, and how we express that. It was a busy, tiring few days, and the journeys were long, but each part contributed to a whole which was an inspiring and humbling experience. I am grateful to all who worked to make it possible.