The pursuit of community


It’s been an interesting few days. I have been challenged recently about the importance of community in terms of pursuing our walk with God. At the end of last week, I thought that maybe that is what holds the old institutional church together. They do seem to have community at least once a week.

But then I read this article – The Rise of “The Dones” as the Church Kills Spiritual Community – and realised that what looks like community, actually often isn’t.

So where does that leave us?

Over the weekend, I had a call with an old friend – a retired vicar. We hadn’t been in touch for about a year. As we talked about a new sort of monasticism – the subtitle of my last book – he said that true monasticism is reflected in the life of St Anthony. It is a going out into the ‘desert’ to find God. It is from that finding God that a call or a leading comes. Then out of that calling or leading a community may form, as in the case of the Desert Fathers.

All this encourages me to continue to pursue this adventure of seeking God ‘in the desert.’

But it may also be time for a few of us to get together and share something of our journey. I am always interested in getting a coffee or going for a walk to chat and reflect with those on, or considering this journey.

The other thing my retired clergy friend did was to point me in the direction of the writings of Ray Simpson of Lindisfarne, and his books and downloads from his website may be of interest. Others had mentioned Ray Simpson to me, but this was the push to finally do a bit of research.

May this week be a week of new spiritual discovery for all of us.


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