Communitas: Finding and Living the Community of Love
A retreat with Emma Churchman, Ken Jacobsen, Margery Post Abbott, and Allison Randall
Communitas, the community of Love, was joyfully rediscovered by early Friends in their 17th century religious revival, and can be found and lived among us today, in our meetings, churches, and other circles of friendship. These times of mistrust and division cry out for communitas today. This retreat, led by four friends who have found communitas as a Peer Group for ten years, will explore how communitas can happen among us today, how we may enter and grow into communities of Love together, communities that receive us as we are, with all our human hurts and hopes, and help us each become the thriving child of God we are uniquely meant to be.
We will focus on examples such as: accompaniment through grief, accompaniment through anger and depression, accompaniment into ministry, accompaniment in discernment, accompaniment through doubt and confusion, and accompaniment that draws us together even when we seek to hide. We will consider various dimensions of accompaniment. How do we learn to enter into another’s spiritual space, being with them without being intrusive, judgmental, or directive? How might we continue to walk in the dark, when our flashlight has gone out and we can only feel the mud and drear? Can we learn to trust God and others enough to allow them to offer the Light they carry? How might we better teach one another to know/find the Life that leads us to live more fully than we ever thought possible and share it with the world?
Marge Abbott, Emma Churchman, Ken Jacobsen, and Allison Randall met at Pendle Hill in 2008 as participants in the Way of Ministry Program, co-sponsored by Pendle Hill and the School of the Spirit. They were assigned to one another in a Peer Group, and though they originally thought they could never get along together, they were radically wrong, and have continued their close spiritual relationship for ten years now, meeting once a month by phone for two hours. They are living communitas even though they are spread all over the country, living in North Carolina, Oregon, Wisconsin, and New Hampshire.