The New Monasticism in United Methodism

Did you see this article about Neo-Monasticism popping up here and there in The United Methodist Church?

It talks about one project I knew about from my days as Perkins School of Theology/Southern Methodist University headed up by Dr. Heath, and a few more I didn't know about, but by which I am intrigued.

In addition to The Order of St. Luke, which has been working for decades to advocate Sacramental living and Liturgical renewal in the UMC, we now have The Order of St. James, whose members covenant to live by certain practices of neo-monasticism - in particular, simplicity. Clergy members covenant to live at a certain income level (based upon the pay scale in their own annual conference) and give away the rest. Sounds very Wesleyan...and Biblical...and countercultural.

I'm also very excited to check out The School for Contemplative living sponsored by a couple of traditional UM Churches in New Orleans (including Rayne Memorial United Methodist Church, pictured left).

Are you interested in incorporating some aspects of neo-monasticism into your life or church? Check out "12 marks of the new monasticism."

I've been dreaming a while about a new Order for Wesleyan Christians who want to live together by a very specific rule of life - living by a modern version of Wesley's General Rules (more on this soon), using the daily offices from an modernized version of Wesley's Sunday Service Book (hopefully you'll be hearing alot more on this in the next year or so), practicing intentional service in the Church and the world, meeting in a formation group for accountability, etc. I don't know what we would call it. The Order of St. ______ ? Maybe one of the ancient monastic Celtic saints...? If we called this lifestyle anything in particular beyond genuine Methodist Christianity.

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Anonymous Todd Stepp said...

I'll be watching.

As a member of the OSL, I pray the daily office using Wesley's Sunday Service.

One thing that the OSL does not include that the Methodist Sacramental Fellowship in the UK does include is a commitment to the faith as expressed in the creeds.

The UK group is open to US types, but paying dues is a bit of a problem seeing that they don't take credit cards and any transfer of $ to pounds that I have seen would mean you would pay about 5 times the actual amount for dues.

3:50 PM, October 04, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll be watching, also. Sounds like quite an undertaking, but so worthwhile. I really enjoy your blog--thank you.

9:44 AM, October 05, 2010  

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