I have written several posts that highlight my increased awareness that Christianity - and the people that make it up - would be stronger, more spiritual, more connected to God and one another, more committed to justice, and more healthy if we were to embrace the practice of Sabbath. I have preached on this in my church and I have read widely about the importance of setting aside one day for God. I guess it's now time to put up or shut up, so I've decided to try keeping Sabbath...in my own way...soon.
What I've learned is that I am not particularly invested in keeping Sabbath as defined by observant Jews - that is, by refraining from the 39 activities used to build the Temple. I have also learned that keeping Sabbath will be less informative to my spiritual life and less effective if I do it alone - outside of community. So, I've been meeting with a friend for several weeks to discuss what Sabbath might be for a group of Christians. And now I've talked with a few other friends who have mentioned some interest in joining the conversation.
This conversation is only part of something I've dreamed about for a long. Ever since divinity school I've wanted to be part of an intentional community based on Sabbath, Sacraments, and Service. Circumstances have been kind to me and I've had the opportunity to participate in a couple of intentional communities; they were wonderful experiences. They stirred up a sense of hope that a community centered on Sabbath, Sacraments, and Service is possible. The overall hope is to create a covenant community of just a few people who will covenant to a shared understanding of Sabbath and Service (and take part in Holy Communion regularly) eventually adding a living community in the city that will share Sabbath, Sacraments, and Service with one another. One day we will hopefully have a farm/retreat center.
In addition to these covenant communities, I see the addition of physicians, physical therapists, nutritionists, spiritual directors, life coaches, chiropractors, trainers, and other professionals who will work with people seeking a holistic approach to life. The would help people set goals, keep focus, care for our bodies and connect them with our spirits. Eventually, this would become a holistic coop in which all people could participate, but one that would have a special emphasis for working class and poor folks who could never afford these services in the free market.
The goal is to create an ever-expanding community with varying commitment levels for people to seek centeredness in life with a core group focused on the power of Sabbath. This is a dream that has lived inside of me for a long time.
But I have to start somewhere and I'm starting with gathering serious people to dialogue about the initial covenant to Sabbath. I'll see where this goes.
Any history of participation in like communities? Let me know...
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