Humans were made for community.

We live in a world that says we can have whatever we desire, yet many people feel more alone than ever.

Why?

Because we were not created to be alone; we were created for community.

God created us to be in relationship.

Early Christians understood this as we’ve already seen in the Four Practices (Acts 2:42-47). One central activity of early Christians was to fellowship (spend time in community) together. They ate together, they worshiped together, they lived life together. But they didn’t do it when time allowed it. They made time to spend it together. At the time it was because to be a Christian was a dangerous proposition. However, it was central to what Jesus did and calls us to, namely, to live in community. The early monastics noticed that there was a need for those who wanted to live the way of Jesus more deeply to form community with each other. This is how the early orders, such as the Benedictines, developed the practice of monks living in the same place together.

For the Community of Saint Columba, intentional community consists of several aspects.

First, we believe strongly in geographic proximity. What we mean by this is that community members should live within a reasonable distance to one another so that they can develop community with one another. Distance hinders the ability to build deep community. This does not mean that the whole community will not build community together. Rather the first stop for building community is with those who live closest to you.

Second, we believe in intentionality. If left to our own devices we fall into patterns that become our habits. To build community we must place this as a priority. What this means is that we commit to regular times together to just spend time with one another. Also, community is not something that we are called to hold on to. We are called to invite and welcome others into our community, particularly those who live around us, whom God has placed in our neighborhoods.

Third, community will look different for different people in our community depending on your life stage. For families, community will look very different to those who are single. For some in our community they will feel led to live in the same space with others, similar to traditional monastic houses. Others will desire to live in “community houses” – specific houses designated as places open to those in the community and those in the local neighborhood – creating community space in their specific neighborhoods.

Lastly, community is part of our life together. What we mean by this is that central to our rule of life/life plan is a desire to reflect Jesus and his teaching, first to the community and secondly to those we come into contact with. Our desire is to live community, not just on certain days but in all of our life. All of the above will be representations of the community shared by those who feel called to participate in St. Columba’s.

Want to learn more?

Come join us!