Last weekend, some of us went to a conference sponsored by the Episcopal church. It brought together a lot of different communities, some of which had very similar goals as us. One workshop I attended was about a community in inner-city Norwood. There are about a hundred members living, working, and gardening together. The community has been around for seventeen years, which is incredible to me. They are doing some amazing things, like the fish and greens project where they set up a tilipia tank with a garden so they can sustain each other and provide food for community members and their neighbors.
The workshop leader talked about the vows of the Benedict Monks, which included poverty, chastity, obedience, and stability. I had heard of the previous three, but I hadn’t thought much about the stability one. A lot of the members of the Norwood community have taken a vow of stability, promising each other to stay in their neighborhood for the rest of their lives. Whoa. It definitely makes sense to make that kind of commitment to a community in order to build permanent relationships and projects, but it is a pretty daunting idea. It made me consider what it would take for us to make that kind of commitment. Or if we already have.