Bonhoeffer Peace Collective – some of the washup

Stacks of great stuff on the Bonhoeffer Peace Collective Swan Island action, court results, media and follow-up action over at nonviolencestories.

Also had a piece in Waging Nonviolence today.

Finally, check out the new-look Bonhoeffer Peace Collective (formerly Bonhoeffer 4) Facebook page…broadening the movement, finally!

Very exciting stuff happening, both in terms of Christian faith-based nonviolence and in terms of the anti-war movement in Melbourne.


neobaptist discussion

Stan over at the neobaptist blog wrote a post about the Bonhoeffer 4 which generated a great deal of discussion.  He’s a military chaplain and pastor of a Brisbane church, and he very graciously allowed me to respond in a post, which you’ll find here.  My response has also generated some discussion, which will hopefully contribute to all of us finding ways to be more faithful disciples of Christ.

Article: Between Sojourners and the Simple Way

Highly recommend this long but very impressive article, take the time to read it if you can. He’s basically arguing for a Christian way of living that finds a path between the pragmatism of Sojourners and the idealism of Simple Way…can’t say I agree with absolutely everything he’s said here, particularly with regard to Yoder (who doesn’t speak with one voice any more than the next person), but it outlines the tensions really well and proposes some excellent ways forward.

There will always be tensions between the local practices of the faith community and wider movements for social change, prophetic actions and pragmatic policy-pushing, the primacy of faith language and the necessity of public language. The challenge is to avoid setting up false alternatives for ourselves, to avoid thinking that our particular piece of the puzzle is the only one that matters. Instead of dismissing either prophetic signs and alternative experiments or advocacy and civic participation, we need to find ways to deepen the connections between them, because the possibilities for authentic cultural transformation just might lie at their intersection.

(thanks to AAANZ for the heads up)

the temptation of the Sadducees

“There has been a degree of success in avoiding the temptations of the Pharisees… But one cannot be so sure that there has been equal success in discerning and avoiding the temptation of the Sadducees, which is also a form of servitude to the Powers. By this we mean the assumption that the forces which really determine the march of history are in the hands of the leaders of the armies and the markets, in such measure that if Christians are to contribute to the renewal of society they will need to seek, like everyone else – in fact in competition with everyone else – to become in their turn the lords of the state and the economy, so as to use that power toward the ends they consider desirable.” — John Howard Yoder, The Politics of Jesus, p. 156.

The Duty of Hospitality

Here’s one of Peter Maurin’s Easy Essays I’ve been thinking about a lot recently. Lots more can be found on the Catholic Worker website which is a fantastic resource for all things Dorothy and Peter.

The Duty of Hospitality

People who are in need
and are not afraid to beg
give to people not in need
the occasion to do good
for goodness’ sake.
Modern society calls the beggar
bum and panhandler
and gives him the bum’s rush.
But the Greeks used to say
that people in need
are the ambassadors of the gods.
Although you may be called
bums and panhandlers
you are in fact the Ambassadors of God.
As God’s Ambassadors
you should be given food,
clothing and shelter
by those who are able to give it.
Mahometan teachers tell us
that God commands hospitality,
and hospitality is still practiced
in Mahometan countries.
But the duty of hospitality
is neither taught nor practiced
in Christian countries.

A Persistent Peace

When John Dear was over here, he specifically asked us to pray for a book he had recently written, but was having difficulty getting published…his autobiography. So I’m more than delighted to say that not only did the publishing come through, but it is due out August 1. Read all about it, including advanced chapters, here.

There is also a possible film in the works over it, so continue to pray that all of that will come through.

The Holy Transfiguration Monastery

PLEASE NOTE:If you’re reading this because you want to contact the Holy Transfiguration Monastery, please don’t ask me for their contact details. Thanks.

A few inspirallers have been talking about intentional community for a while, and as a result we’ve decided to do some serious research into what that might look like. So this Saturday we’re heading down to Geelong to hang out with some of the members of the Holy Transfiguration community. One of only two Baptist monasteries in the world, Breakwater are a rare and beautiful expression of Christian community. We’re wanting to learn about how their journey of integrity towards deeper community, but also to forge links between their group and ours. And I wanted to draw attention to this amazing group right here, where people who would ordinarily not come across a group such as this would have the chance to be as affected by them as I am being.

From here:

The Holy Transfiguration Monastery
Breakwater, Victoria, Australia

by Paul R. Dekar

Holy Transfiguration Monastery is a center of renewal in Breakwater, a working-class neighborhood of Geelong, a city of 200,000 on the west of Port Phillip Bay, in the state of Victoria in Australia. A compelling adaptation of historic Christian monastic traditions to contemporary life, the community is unique in that it continues the life and witness of a 135-year old Baptist congregation while drawing on classic sources of Christian monasticism.

Holy Transfiguration Monastery began in the early 1970s, a period when many Christians around the world re-appraised economic, political, and religious structures. Graeme Littleton and Steven Shipman met during a monastic formation program at The Community of the Glorious Ascension, an Anglican monastery in England. They came to share the vision out of which Holy Transfiguration Community emerged. Littleton and Shipman studied the Rule of Benedict, Orthodox sources, and a number of models of communal life, including Ephrata, an Anabaptist experiment that began in the eighteenth century in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

As the community grew, members developed a Resolve, the practices by which they live as follows:

* Being perfectly assured of your salvation, with your whole life proclaim your gratitude.
* Reject nothing, consecrate everything.
* Be the good of love, for God, for neighbor, for all creation.
* Judge no one, not even yourself.
* Love beauty.
* Maintain inner silence in all things.
* Show hospitality, err only on the side of generosity.
* Speak truth to power, especially power without love.
* Let your only experience of evil be in suffering, not its creation.
* For us there is only the trying, the rest is none of our business.

The community has over thirty members who live in the Cloister or nearby. Members observe traditional monastic commitments to hospitality, obedience, stability, and a balanced life of prayer and work. Celibacy is not an obligation. While several members have chosen a celibate life, married couples also live in the Cloister. Families live in houses, while the celibate sisters and brothers live in single-sex households. Members support themselves through ordinary work. In accord with Acts 2:45 and Acts 4:34, twelve live under the common purse, while members of the Greater Community tithe.

Holy Transfiguration Monastery members observe times of silence, stillness, and solitude. The daily rhythm of prayer focuses on some aspect of the life of Jesus: Mondays, incarnation; Tuesdays, baptism; Wednesdays, transfiguration; Thursdays, the last supper. On Friday, members observe Taizé-like prayers around the cross. On Saturday evening a Sabbath service announces the Resurrection. Sunday is a literal day of rest.

While on the grounds members generally wear habits or, at the Eucharist, white baptismal albs. They extend an invitation to any baptized person to do the same. A communal meal shared by many visitors follows the Eucharist. The liturgical and prayer forms of the community are intentionally contemplative and reflective. Singing plays a great part in all the liturgies. The community follows the Christian year and has developed significant liturgies unique to Advent, Epiphany, Lent, Ascension, Pentecost, Transfiguration, Holy Cross, and Christ Pantokrator, with the One who holds all opposites together in creative tension as the focus of reflection, Easter is a season for renewal of one’s baptismal vows.

Holy Transfiguration Monastery members observe times of silence, stillness, and solitude.

Members have written prayers and liturgies that are ancient and contemporary, meditative, and dynamic, reflective and socially attuned. Holy Transfiguration Monastery has attracted to its membership several master crafts persons and artists. The icons, vestments, architecture, stained glass, and other artistic features embody monastic values of simplicity and holiness. Backed by a well-articulated theology, members offer their gifts to God in gratitude.

Members seek to respect the beauty of creation. With three buildings set aside for worship specifically, nearly a dozen houses, gardens, and a guesthouse, the property encompasses two acres. Once a garbage heap, the Cloister is now a protected bird sanctuary. Members have also been actors in local campaigns to maintain ecological balance in Breakwater through efforts to preserve the habitat along the Barwon River nearby.

The Breakwater community attracts members from many denominations, including the Anglican, Baptist, Catholic, and Uniting churches of Australia. Among its advisors are representatives of other monasteries in Australia, including the Benedictine Abbey of St. Mark in Camperdown, and the Cistercian Tarrawarra Abbey in the Yarra River valley.

Holy Transfiguration has maintained a Skete in Melbourne, where the monastery strongly influenced a number of congregations. Communities in Perth in Western Australia, in the United Kingdom, and in the United States are exploring ways to twin or otherwise identify with Holy Transfiguration.

And make that Brunswick too.