June 6, 2011

New Monasticism -- That's Us!

In this morning's email was an invitation from @RevWeb to contemplate this quote he found on the Northumbria Community site:
"The renewal of the church will come from a new type of monasticism which only has in common with the old an uncompromising allegiance to the Sermon on the Mount. It is high time men and women banded together to do this."

─  Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in a letter to his brother
Of course I zoomed in on the words "a new type of monasticism" because that's what we're up to with @Virtual_Abbey.  And although it's not about the number of followers, we're now up to 3,073 ─ the number arrived at after cleaning out BOTS, porn SPAM, and offers to sell us swamp land.

(Note: We confess to occasionally and erroneously deleting followers during one of our virtual cleaning fits. If that has happened to you, please forgive us and send us an email so we can unblock your account.)

We're not the first to extend the boundaries of church beyond the building and into cyberspace, nor will we be the last and that's a good thing. Church-the-building has been rather moribund for a while and many are experimenting with ways to support prayer and a life of faith using 21st century technology.

Just last week, @ourpraybook burst on the scene with this Twitter bio: Our Praybook is the world's first social prayer network. Share your prayer intentions and pray for your friends' intentions too. I, of course, found this bold claim to be rather...bold...and noted as much in a few tweets public tweets from my personal account.

Others from the Virtual Abbey community chimed in. No response. And yes, we invited @ourpraybook to join us for prayer that evening. We hope they will at some point and also follow us back on Twitter because, in the words of Bonhoeffer, it's "high time men and women banded together to do this."  

Lest this post look like a gotcha and gripe, here's the point I wish to underscore from the Bonhoeffer quote: the new monasticism must be a new creation, grounded in ancient, spiritual practices  yet soaring above and beyond ancient rivalries.  

So, what else must we, as modern monastics, commit to doing and being? We have the faith,  imagination, and technology. Thanks be to God!

Pax max,



Kerri said...

I'm so happy I found this site and was able to participate in Morning Prayer today - thank you! I'm new to Twitter - is there a way to see all sides of the conversation as people tweet during the prayer and in other discussions? If the answer to that is long, I'll figure it out on my own - thank you!

Brenda said...

Welcome Kerri! So happy you've come to join us here on the blog as well as on Twitter. You can follow @Virtual_Abbey on Tweetdeck and see what people are responding to. Let us know if we can help anymore! Welcome and we'll see you for prayer. Peace be with you!

Sari said...

I have found myself - since the birth of my 2nd child who has special needs - on a new course with my prayer life.
I was bound to home more (in the beginning) and there was a certain disconnect from the world while I learned how to care for him (.. and sometimes still).
It is how I began to search for ways to be able to connect to other Christians, to give thanks and pray, while still keeping my little guy near me.
5yrs later I find it so personal to be able to do all of that and more, with you all. It is strange but the peace that I am unable to get while out there, I have it here, in front of me on my PC.
I have found that other mothers in my circle have been looking for ways to be able to do the same - and I have time and time again, sent them to our Abbey.

Grateful for you, and each member.