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New Monasticism Ministry - own website coming soon!

This ministry ia all about teaching the Celtic Monastic way. What made St. Patrick, Celtic Movement, so succesful in converting Ireland to Christianity? It was the use of a large monastic movement. What Patrick's successors did was to adopt his principle of indigenous Christianity and extended it. They learned about 'monasteries' from Eastern Christianity, perhaps through visits to Gaul and the Eastern Church, then they radically adapted the idea of the monastery to Ireland. The resulting community was so different from many of the eastern monasteries that we need a distinct term such as "monastic communities".

The largest difference is, these monastic communities produced a less individualistic approach, but a more community-oriented approach to the Christianity and life. This lead to two important things for the growth of the individual and the church, it brought people into friendships and made connections through a community of believers.

The biggest complaint we hear today, I really don’t have very many close friends, I am not really connected to anything or anyone. Modern society with all of its high tech gadgets and gizmos, the fast pace of life, has left us in a state of being isolated. Hard to believe I know. We were never meant to be unconnected from the community, family and friends. But we are, everyone is going in their own direction at a thousand miles an hour or plugged into a video game for hours on end. It is time to unplug. It is time to give people a place to connect, something to give their life meaning and purpose, time to make them part of a community.

Celtic Christians also had a great love for nature. They understood natural cycle of things, the process of the life and how it was suppose to be, they understood life needed to be balanced. It was easy for them to see God in and connected to all things. Peace comes from learning the balance of life.

Celtic Christians understood the Good News of a different kind of God. God is not hostile, capricious, or self seeking; He is for us, he loves people (and his other creatures), and he wills their deliverance from sin and pain into new life.

The New Monasticism Ministry is about bring people into the Celtic way of Monasticism. Help them to connect with God, the loving God, and bring peace into their life by slowing down to focus on God's word and spending time with Him, so they can hear what God purpose and direction is for them. Through prayer, nature, friendships and a connection to a community of fellow believers.

We talked about "The Irish Way" on the Home page so I am not going to relisted here.

How do I Start Following "The Irish Way"

First thing is getting in touch with us and let us set you up with your first anamchara (AH-nem KAH-ra), that is, a soul friend. This person job is to help guide you through the beginnig stages of the process. This is something that just doesn't happen overnight. Changes takes time. Every person is different and every persons process is going to be alittle different.

We are going to spend some time talking, see what is going on in your life. We are not counselors and will not tell you what you need to be doing! That is between you and God. Our job is to help set you on the path. We are going to recommend some readings, spend some time meeting and going over them. Teach you about prayer and prayer offices. Getting you to take a retreat where you can connect with God.

Also, part of this is being involved in church and a small group. Growing into some type of ministry.

Then as you develop, if you want. Help others in the process or form a group in your area following "The Irish Way". Build a community.

Several Levels in the Monastic Order

Shenandoah Mountain Anglican Chapel is a Benedictine Order. So our house has several levels of membership.

Celtics

The majority of people that join the Chapel and "The Irish Way" are going to be Celtics. This is a basic lay person level, that is interested in learning the "The Irish Way". Will go through the basic training process and will work to implement it into their life. Basic level participation. You do as much as you want or as little.

About the Order and the Next Level

Becoming a Brother or Sister is one of the most rewarding personal life altering choices you can make. I will tell you from personal experience, your relationship with Jesus Christ, God and the Holy Spirit will grow ten fold. You will discover a peace in your heart that you never thought possible.

The Anglican Order of Saint Benedict is a modified Order. We are a non-cloistered order - means we do not live in a monastery. Each Brother or Sister lives in their local community, most have a secular job, and many have families.

We are a Missional Order, which means that our purpose is to go out into the world and make disciples everywhere. First and foremost, we are to be an example in our home parish. By our example, we are to show what it means to follow Christ and to live a Christ center life. We do this by: daily prayer, being active in church life and doing some type of ministry.

As Benedictine's we are required to pray several times a day. Since most members have secular jobs, seven times a day is tough for most. Our Order requires Anglican Morning and Evening Prayer and Compline (end of the day). Don't worry, this doesn't happen over night, it takes time to build this habit into your life.

Brothers and Sisters start off as novices, which last two years. During that time, a profess Brother or Sister will mentor you. Beside helping with adapting prayer into your life, there is also lessons over that time to learn how to become a Brother or Sister.

Let me be clear, this is not an easy path to follow. It is a life changing experience that requires a lot of dedication and commitment to daily prayer and personal sacrifices. We are not about power or money, we are about simplicity of life and Jesus Christ.

Oblates

An oblate in Christian monasticism is a person who is specifically dedicated to God and God's service.

Oblates are individuals, either laypersons or clergy, normally living in general society, who, while not professed brothers or sisters, have individually affiliated themselves with a monastic community of their choice. They make a formal, private promise to follow the Rule of the Order in their private life as closely as their individual circumstances and prior commitments permit. Such oblates do not constitute a separate religious order as such, but are considered an extended part of the monastic community.

Professed

Professed are individuals, either laypersons or clergy, in our order,  living in general society, who, have individually affiliated themselves with this monastic community. They make a formal, open promise to follow the Rule of the Order in their private life. They are active members dedicated to the service of God and prayer in thier life.

For more information please contact Br. Patrick at brothers@shenmtnchapel.org or call 301-343-7979



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