Exciting times for our family and the Portland Jeremiah House! We have officially signed a lease and gotten keys to a house we can live in starting in January!
It is a temporary location for us, likely only through June, but we are so excited to be taking the next step in our journey toward living in intentional community together. The house is made available through God’s work in our group and the relationships we have. It is an 80 year old house that is an unused parsonage (house provided by a church for its pastor, if that word is new for you like it was for me until the last few years), which means it’s basically super cool.
We will be located in the Sellwood neighborhood of Portland, which though really awesome and nice, is not exactly the kind of neighborhood we hope to settle in (because it’s too awesome and nice), but it will be perfect for getting the hang of living together and practicing our rule of life. We know that wherever we find ourselves, God will present us with the opportunities and growth we need to mature and live out our mission.
This is another in a long line (past and future) of steps toward our New Monastic community, and as we take this step and each step along the way, we learn more about both possibilities and challenges. One of the obvious challenges is getting the money to launch our vision, needing to find a permanent house where we can all fit, where we can grow, and that will enable us to practice hospitality in a variety of ways.
Some of the possibilities show up in the form of partnerships with other people and other groups (which along with many relationships and other things, has made this house possible). So far, I have been amazed by how many people are excited about what we are doing and who want to help or participate in some way.
As I think about what we are trying to do and how it connects with the greater faith we share and the God we serve, I have been mediating on the fact that our vision for our New Monastic community, the Portland Jeremiah House, is not yet realized. We are not yet living in one house together, not yet working to build relationships in our neighborhood, and not yet a daily part of supporting each other and forming each other. Our mission has not yet been shaped in the way we hope it to be, and our rule of life is not even in its finalized state. As the Portland Jeremiah House, we have not yet become ourselves.
At the same time, I have been struck by how we are already the Portland Jeremiah House! We have a shared mission, vision, and values, and we practice community and a common faith together. We pray and encourage one another, and we strive toward building our dream of an intentional living community that will challenge and bless us and benefit the people around us. We are not yet in a house together, but we soon will be, even having a move-in date in less than a month!
We live in the familiar Christian tension of both an already and the not yet. We still live in a broken world, so separated from our Creator, so disconnected with each other, and so at odds with ourselves. Yet at the same time, we live in a world being redeemed, a world in transformation, and a world in which Jesus welcomed a new vision and vitality to God’s version of existence under his care and guidance when he sacrificed everything for all of us.
The church has recognized this already/not yet tension for centuries, and I am honored to participate in a small-scale of the same paradox with our own little group. Anytime we can connect with the greater stream of our brothers and sisters worldwide, I am in awe and so thankful to be part of a global people all in love with God and striving to love each other.
For our group of dreamers, I am grateful for what we already have, and I super excited for what is yet to come, both right around the corner and years down the road.
To read what Chrissy has to say about the new development for Portland Jeremiah House, check out her blog here: Portland Jeremiah House finds a home! (journeyofstability.wordpress.com)
5 thoughts on “We Have a Home!”
I have been praying for you since you were saved; I’ve been waiting and watching to see how God works to His glory through you. Continue to “seek first” His Kingdom and His righteousness. God will take you all through this amazing journey.
“Rule of life.” This is such a beautiful phrase to me, and I’m fascinated by the journey you and Chrissy (and Evelyn!) are taking to establish it in your lives. Community and hospitality–in their biblical senses–can be incredibly difficult to realize in this country. I think about those words every time I meet with members of my own church, mostly because I work so hard to keep my interactions comfortable and within my own control.
I’m so thankful you’re both documenting these things! It’s encouraging and convicting: another source of tension, I suppose. Jeremiah House is on my heart and in my prayers.
Vanessa, thank you for your support, and your thoughts. I agree so much about the difficulties of community and hospitality in our culture, which is why we are trying to find a way to overcome those difficulties. It is scary sometimes to think about the control we are intentionally giving up in our own lives, but we do it to gain something even better (or so we hope!).
You guys are my favorite example of what good God-loving people look like and I wish could give others some kind of crash-course vision of your little family because so many people I know angrily cling to the stereotype of the Westboro baptist church kind of Christian. And it makes me sad. Good luck and we love you guys!
Thank you so much, Julia! I hope we can live up to your idea of who we are. We seriously need to hang out with you guys soon. Maybe we can show you our new place 🙂