Thursday, May 20, 2010

YFIR’s Intentional Spiritual Community (draft)

YFIR interns are expected to live together as they work to create and affirm an intentional spiritual community that nurtures them and supports the interns in their ministries. This community is based upon a document that states the values and ideals that all the community member hold in common. The community is further strengthened by common practices that all the members commit to participating in.
1. (Doc.):
This document will be a list of commonly held ideals and beliefs of the community. Because the current members of the community span all different branches of Quakerism and communicate in very different spiritual languages this process is a lengthy one.
2. Practices Held In Common:
• Household money is shared communally
o All food and household items bought with the household money are shared communally where appropriate.
o The household money is held in a joint bank account that all community members have access to
o Stewardship of all YFIR money is a responsibility shared by all community members
o Large decisions regarding money must be made by the discernment of a house meeting and any appropriate committees.
• Community members meet once a week for 45 minutes of shared worship/time to sit with the week’s struggles and joys
o This can include worship sharing afterwards
o And a shared meal
• At least one meal a day is cooked and eaten communally
o Some form of thanks will be given before the meal
• Once a day community members check in with each other about their physical, emotional and spiritual health and wellbeing.
• Household chores are done communally by all community members
o Both daily and monthly chores will be assigned to each community member during a house meeting held within the first two weeks of the community member joining the program.
• Beloved Community House is an open space, which is meant to be used by for hospitality and hosting events. YFIR interns should discern what events and gatherings should be held at Beloved Community House as apposed to Perry City Meetinghouse. The use of Beloved Community House as an open space should never negatively impact any member of the community, community members will be mindful of the amount of space and ‘down time’ each member needs.
• The community members commit to living simply and lightly upon the earth.
o This will be reflected in their treatment of:
• The house
• The yard
• And the community’s choice of and buying method for food and household items
• Respect of and interest in each community member’s ministry by the other community members is a sign of our shared goals and care for reach.
• Community members commit to not partaking in drugs of any kind (unless specifically proscribed by healthcare provider) including tobacco while living at Beloved Community House.
o Community members also discourage the use of drugs of any kind (unless specifically proscribed by healthcare provider) including tobacco by those visiting the community.
o Community members also live with respect for the Quaker caution against the use of alcohol
o Community members live in a way that is mindful of the stewardship of their bodies and their commitment to caring for themselves and each other
• Household meetings are held concerning the community and work of the YFIR program. These meetings will be held in good order in the way of Friends
o Meetings regarding the good order of the community or workings of the program will be modeled after meeting for worship with a concern for business.
• One community member will be appointed as acting ‘clerk’ before the meeting
• A time will be picked in advance and agreed to by all community members
• Each meeting will only address up to three aspects of the community or work of the program
• If business items exceed three, more meetings can be convened
o Meetings regarding ministry of an individual community member or ministries held in common by the community will be held in the model of worship sharing.

3. Process For Reevaluating of (Doc.) and Common Practices
Those who make up the intentional spiritual community of Beloved Community House believe that every community is an organic, growing endeavor, which must change and evolved over time. Therefore when a new member joins the community, the whole community will undertake a process to make sure that change and/or reaffirmation happens as the Spirit guides us.
• Within the first two weeks of a new member joining the community of Beloved Community house a time of worship sharing will be arranged. During this time all members of the community will meet and share together in worship and reflection around the (Doc.) of the community. They will discern to the best of their ability whether the Spirit is guiding them to change or reaffirm this document.
• If the worship sharing leads the community to believe that the (Doc.) needs to be changed to reflect the evolving nature of the community an Anchor Committee meeting will be convened within one to two weeks of the worship sharing.
o Once convened the Anchor Committee will facilitate deep worship and conversation between the community members to discern the exact changes needed
o As many Anchor Committee meetings will be convened as needed to complete this work.
Practices Held In Common:
• To evaluate or reaffirm practices held in common a set of house meetings and worship sharing will be convened with in the first two weeks of a new member joining the community.
o A house meeting(s) will be convened to discuss and discern new members’ roles and responsibilities regarding household chores, errands and money stewardship.
o A time or times for worship sharing will be convened to discern whether a new member has any sort of blocks (emotion, physical or spiritual) that might stand in the way or them participating and/or agreeing to any of the community practices.
o Another worship sharing will be held to discern if the new member or community has a whole feels the need to add, remove or change any practices for the community to hold in common.
• We as a community affirm that the Spirit moves among us at every moment and that we live in expectant waiting for continuing revelation. Therefore every four-to-six months the community will meet for a session of worship sharing followed by a communal meal during which time they will reevaluate practices held in common and discern if Spirit is calling them to add, remove or change practices.

4. Regarding the Interns and Community:
• The intentional spiritual community of the Beloved Community House is not a static, unchanging entity. Instead it is a living community of people bound together by their shared commitments to the Religious Society of Friends, Young Friends In Residence Program, each other, and enriching the world. As such each intern is required to take an active, nurturing, enlivening role in the life of the community.
• Each interns is advised to live in a constant state of discernment with themselves, each other and their Elders to live into their understanding of the gifts they bring to Beloved Community House, the ways they change this community and the way this community changes them.
• The wellbeing and growth of each intern is something that community as a whole has a responsibly to care for and nurture. Every community member has a commitment to respect, and care for every other community member and be respected and cared for in return.
• We aim to live with joy and deep caring and share both that joy and that caring with the world.
• We endeavor to live into a community that reflects our radical and ever-changing relationship with the Spirit and the world.

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