Developing a Diocesan Rule of Life - Phase Two
When we are baptized, and every time we renew our baptismal covenant, we make promises to:
- continue the apostles' teaching and fellowship;
- persevere in resisting evil;
- proclaim the Good News of God in Christ;
- seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbor as ourselves;
- and strive for justice and peace among all people.
(BCP, pp 304-305)
But HOW do we live out those promises?
That's the question members of the Dispersed Religious Communities are asking as they visit congregations throughout the Diocese. Their mission from Bishop Deon Johnson is to develop a Diocesan Rule of Life.
The group is now in Phase Two of their project. They plan to visit each church in the Diocese over the next few months to help everyone understand what a rule of life is and how it can provide a common language for us to express how we do what we do -- to show how we are living out our baptismal covenant.
Neil Tumber, a member of The Society of St. Francis, offers this report from the group's retreat:
Diocesan Rule of Life Project – Retreat, January 19 & 20
Many thanks to all who prayed for us and also for those who took time out from their hectic work and church schedules to join us at the Marianist Retreat Center in Wildwood. We enjoyed a fascinating journey which explored many different approaches to living out our baptismal covenant.
At the retreat, we heard from Episcopalian brothers and sisters who live out their promises by following the way of life advocated by Saints Benedict, Francis and Dominic and also by the Rivendell Community, Anamchara Fellowship, and the Brotherhood of Saint Andrew. See below for links to each of these communities. We also explored the Episcopal Church’s “Way of Love” which also gives us a structured response to living out our baptismal covenant.
All this was conducted within a steady rhythm of prayer following the services for morning, noonday and evening prayer and also compline. After compline we entered a period of silence to listen as the Holy Spirit helped us understand all that we had heard, spoken and sung during the day. The silence was broken early on Saturday morning with a beautiful service of Holy Communion in the modernistic yet inspiring chapel at the retreat center.
Our Diocesan Rule of Life Project was announced at the convention in November by Sister Donna Ruth of the Anamchara Fellowship. You can read her talk which explains both the project and the concept of a rule of life: https://www.diocesemo.org/blog/developing-a-diocesan-rule-of-life/.
You will appreciate that these different traditions lead to a variety of ways of living out our baptismal promises with the Benedictine emphasis on formation and stability contrasting with the Dominican and Franciscan missions of going out into the world. I was delighted to hear of the “Last Homely House” being the inspiration for the Rivendell Community’s dedication for providing hospitality and greatly encouraged by the commitment to being a “soul partner” lived out by those in the Anamchara Fellowship.
During the retreat, we heard from Sister Donna Ruth Hawk-Reinhard, AF (Anamchara Fellowship), Rev. Dr. Nathan John Haydon, Obl. S. B. (Benedictine), Brother Michael K. Burroughs, O.P. (Dominican), Martha Colville, CRC (Rivendell Community), and members of two Franciscan orders, Adrienne Dillon, TSSF, John Dotson, TSSF and Neil Tumber, TSSF (Society of St. Francis) and Brother Sam Kincade, OSF and Brother David Wigger, OSF (Order of St. Francis).
So now to go out into our diocese to learn how each parish lives out the baptismal covenant as witness of God’s love in their community. Please welcome the members of the religious communities who will be coming to worship and serve with you in the coming months.
Learn more about the religious communities represented in the Diocese of Missouri:
- Benedictine: https://csl-osb.org/
- Franciscan: https://www.orderofsaintfrancis.org/ or https://tssf.org/
- Dominican: http://www.anglicandominicans.com/
- Rivendell Community: https://rivendellcommunity.wordpress.com/
- Anamchara Fellowship: https://anamcharafellowship.net/
- Brotherhood of Saint Andrew: https://brothersandrew.net/
Also, as a resource:
- The Way of Love: https://www.episcopalchurch.org/way-of-love/