In recent years a new phenomenon has occurred: the growth of new style Christian communities which include both men and women. single folk and married couples. and even whole families. . There are now even communities composed partly of lay people and partly of professed religious. This new and widespread intereet in community Living seems to indicate that many people today are beginning once again to take seriously the normal pattern of Christian life shown us in Acts 2:42-47 and 4:32-35.
Perhaps the ideal form such a community can take would approximate to a kibbutz: though with a greater emphasis upon family life (not separating children from parents) — and, of course. Christ-centred. One might call it a "Christian Commonwealth".
Such a group would find the focus of its meaning in its daily worship and dependence upon the Lord: and it would earn its living by a variety of means, including (as in a kibbutz) that of producing as much as possible of its own food.
It would witness to a responsible lifest y le by, among other means, economy in its housekeeping, being prepared to "live simply, that others may simply live"; and by opening its doors to guests of all kinds — particularly those in need. Ti would share its goods; have a common purse; practise a ministry of healing and reconciliation; and be concerned to witness to Our Lord in every possible way.
Possibly such communities already exist, or are in the process of forming. IF so, my wife and 1 (Anglicans) would be very grateful to hear of them. Alternatively, do any of your readers feel called of Our Lord to try with us to bring such a Christian Commonwealth into being?
We feel sure that Our Lord is calling men and women today into new and exciting patterns of ministry, and we are ready to go anywhere to serve him in this way — particularly if it were in an ecumenical group.
St Francis House. Borrow Road, Oulton Broad, Suffolk