The Wisdom of Stability

Our good friend Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove has a new book out called The Wisdom of Stability. We live in an incredibly mobile society that where on an average people move every 2-3 years.  Jonathan questions this way of life and claims that the need to become rooted in a community lies deep within us.  There is a great interview with Jonathan in Raleigh’s News and Observer in which he explains

“We felt that by moving again and again we could get to a place where you dig 10 wells 3 feet deep and never strike water,” said Wilson-Hartgrove, 29.

The Wilson-Hartgroves see stability as a virtue. The couple consider themselves modern-day monks, devoted to a religious community of like-minded people who practice prayer, contemplation and works of justice.  Read the entire article here

As one who spent much of my life on the move, this book resonated with me and my own need for stability.   I have long felt that all of us need stability zones and rootedness in our lives and am convinced that much of the fear and anxiety within our society is because of this lack of a sense of who we are and where we belong.

However Jonathan is the first one I have come across who has articulated this need as a Christian virtue partly because we need to be rooted in a community to care about it and become involved.  I know that many monastic orders in the past have called people to a commitment to place but that is not something we hear much about today.   This is a challenging and thought provoking book.  I would heartily recommend it to anyone who seeks to engage in their community as part of God’s call on their lives.


Monasticism Remix: Traditional & Neo-Monastic Spirituality in the 21st Century

Monasticism Remix: Traditional & Neo-Monastic Spirituality in the 21st Century

Mustard Seed Associates invites you to an evening of prayers and explorations of Traditional & Neo-Monastic spirituality.

In this event neo-monastic practitioners and traditional monastic sisters and brothers will come together for a generative conversation about living monastic spirituality in the 21st century.

The evening will include a light meal, prayers, conversation, and a compline service at the end.

You are welcome (and we encourage you) to come to the 5:00 PM service at Church of the Apostles beforehand as well.

When? Dec. 13 – 7:00 PM

Where? Fremont Abbey Arts Center – 4272 Fremont Ave N, Seattle
We will gather in the downstairs cafe area of the Abbey. The worship service takes place in the Great Hall upstairs.

Suggested donation: $5-10; no one will be turned away for lack of money

Register Online

Feel free to contact us at / 206-524-2112 with your questions.

We are looking for volunteers to help us set up and clean up afterward. Contact us if you are interested in volunteer.

This is event is hosted by Mustard Seed Associates in partnership with Church of the Apostlesand The Fremont Abbey Arts Center.

Inspiration from Geez Magazine: Neo Monasticism also known as Ordinary Life in the Neighbourhood

Our good friend, community member and colleague Eliacin Rosario Cruz has just written a thought provoking response to an article published in Geez Magazine – one of my favourite publications.  The original article Changing the Story of Change, raises some important issues.

Hosting visiting groups to New Jerusalem Now, a grassroots addiction treatment community in North Philly, is starting to feel like poverty tourism. The purpose of the day’s activities is to give the youth group an experience that will hopefully inspire them to care about “the poor.” I think that’s what ignites my anger – Shante should be the most important person in this little gathering, but she’s not. She’s a means to an end, the end being to inspire young, white, suburban Christian youth to be more conscious of poverty. They’re the most important people in the gathering; the day’s events are more about them than the people who live in the recovery community they’re visiting. The privileged suburban kids are at the centre of the narrative.

Read the entire article here

Eliacin’s response is even more thought provoking.

Growing up in my barrio I witnessed many acts of evil and wonderful deeds of love and compassion. I lived among the poor, I was one of the poor. We were poor together. We knew it but we didn’t pay much attention to it, because we had to live. We couldn’t sit around discussing how political, religious or other people’s movements could influence and inspire us in our desire for liberation from poverty. We worked, loved and tried to make sense of our experiences as people – not poor people, simply as people.

Read the article here

New Monasticism and White Privilege

Here is an interesting article that my good friend Eliacin contributed to the God’s Politics discussion on new monasticism and white privilege. 

It is not by chance that it is hard to find people of color as prominent figures in spreading the vibes of New Monasticism through books, conferences, and new media. This also true of many other new emerging expressions of contemporary Christianity.

Read the entire article

Reconciliation’s Challenge for New Monastacism

My friend Eliacin Rosario Cruz just posted this important thought provoking article and link.

Do not miss this insightful and provocative post from my friends Jason and Vonetta Strobakken from Radical Living Community in NYC. This is a first in a series of posts and responses in God’s Politics Blog about the subject of multi-cuttural, multi-racial, multi-ethnic expression in new monasticism.

Reconciliation’s Challenge for New Monastic Communities (by Jason and Vonetta Storbakken)

The key players in New Monasticism have made important strides in raising awareness of issues pertinent to disenfranchised members of our society, yet these leaders often make some of the same mistakes as their conservative counterparts. Read more…