I had a great day in London today at Church House at the invitation of the Advisory Council for Relations between Bishops and Religious Communities. The purpose of the day was to allow dialogue between the council and new monastic and emerging religious communities.
Bishop Graham Cray gave an interesting opening talk in which he spoke of the Holy Spirit seeming to be creating new kind of monasticism that pre-dates the Fresh Expression movement. He got us thinking by talking of overlap between Fresh Expressions, Prayer Movements and New Monasticism. He then challenged me, and I guess all of us, by asking how we sustain mission, develop disciples and catechesis.
The rest of the day was taken up with hearing from a mixture of new communities and traditional communities and it was exciting to see both lern from each other. The day was exciting and interesting and, for me in particular, amazingly encouraging to spend time with others who think the same as me and are experiencing the same kinds of frustration, feelings of isolation and challenge over developing disciples that can be sustained in a counter cultural community.
The day was then concluded with a lot of laughter and a few beers with a good friend, at a great pub – thank you, that was cool!
Oh … and you might wonder why I was at this day at all. Currently the gathering is considering who we are, as in what kind of community are we developing and growing. Some think we have the marks of a new monastic community, and on Saturday we are spending a day with Ian Mobsby as we explore and discern this a little more. So – if you are one of those praying kinds please remember the gathering this Saturday, as I think it will be key time for us as a community.