Thursday, September 13, 2007

The House Famous Commitments

1) I commit to meet. I will meet the whole group once a week, as my top priority, to debrief my week, talk about house issues, encourage each other and pray. I will also eat supper daily with the house members as often as I can. The meeting can be moved as needed to accommodate situations that may arise. We also commit to special meetings such as retreats on occasion as the need arises, making these priority over other opportunities.
Hebrews 10:24-25

2) I commit to Love. I will treat my community and those we come across with respect, dignity, gentleness, sincerity, kindness and love because Jesus has done this for me.
John 13:34-35.

3) I commit to stability. This means I will commit to live together, with the people who sign this commitment, in the city of Kingston, for a period of at least 3 years, unless called by God to go elsewhere and this call is confirmed by the people of our community.

4) I commit to submission. This means I will submit all major decisions (relationships, time away) and major purchases (over 10$) to the rest of the group for guidance. All decisions will be made by consensus, everyone agrees, and compared to the standard of scripture where applicable. I will submit to the group’s guidance. I commit to accountability, and invite others to speak truth into my life, being willing to accept truth spoken to me.
Ephesians 5:21

5) I commit to making our house a house of true hospitality. I will strive to make our house welcome to all. This means I will do all I can to serve our guests and our members by keeping the house clean, daily dish washing, cooking, providing meals and shelter, as well as creating welcoming conversations and activities, etc.
Romans 12:13

6) I commit to serve. I will volunteer at least once a week at a downtown social service, with the goal of making friendships that extend beyond those services.
Matthew 25:31-46

7) I commit to the members of this community. I will connect one-on-one with every member of the household on a weekly basis. This will also require openness to invitations and inviting. ‘Connecting’ means: Separating a portion of time for each member of the household to have a conversation, growing in knowledge of the other person. I will also pray for every member of the household on a daily basis.

8) I commit to reconciliation. I will harbour no resentment against other members of the group, but will confess my frustration with them. I will also deal with conflict as outlined in Matthew 18:15-17. I will have reconciliation before worship as outlined in Matthew 5:21-26. I will not go to bed angry, as outlined in Ephesians 4:26-27.

9) I commit to the local church. Our house is not a church but a witness to the church. I will be at church on most Sundays. If I am unable to make it to a worship service, I will be with the body of Christ. I will also commit to keep the Sabbath holy (a day of rest).

10) I commit to simplicity. I will seek first the kingdom of God and do all I can to not be controlled by money, media, addictions, intoxication and other forces in our broken culture. Simplicity also involves making choices to be more environmentally friendly, to respect the planet God has given us: electricity, air drying, recycling, heat, gardening, etc. (Matthew 6:24-34)
(We need to choose to not complicate our lives. We will encourage creativity and interactive social events instead of defaulting to addictions. If a member has an addiction, we will work together towards breaking that addiction. We will create limits and rules about media to ensure we are sticking to our commitments, and not developing addictions. No T.V. ever.)

11) I commit to chastity. Sex is meant to consummate a commitment of marriage. I will also honour all marriage vows. We commit to confessing moral failures, and having accountability about purity.
Ephesians 5:3-4 and 1 John 1:5-7

12) I commit to devotion. I will consistently read my bible, and practice spiritual disciplines such as prayer, meditation, solitude, fasting, and service. I will also help my community members to do the same. I will also commit to vows for deeper commitment from time to time. (Matthew 6:33)
(PRAYER: need to become more focused, corporately and individually; we need to realize the necessity of relying on God, ask people to pray for us; prayer for spiritual growth, lost friends, worship of God, CREATIVE prayers. We can make specific requests for others to keep us accountable. Bible reading needs to be checked at weekly meeting. Suggestions: House fasting day, once a month. House Prayer Meeting weekly. House bible reading. Spirituality Centre on occasion.)

13) I commit to protect. I will not be a stumbling block to my community, nor to my guests. To avoid encouraging addictions and other stumbles, I will not consume or store alcohol, or any illegal substances, in the house, and make any other adjustments to my life that may help the people I serve. I will also protect house member’s reputations, and honour them outside the house.

14) I commit to share. Rent, groceries, hydro bills, phone bills will be shared equally. Each person will need to contribute 500$ per month to cover these expenses, BUT accountability will still be maintained concerning personal spending. All non-necessary purchases beyond a reasonable personal amount will need to have the permission of another housemate or the household.

15) I commit to Give as a Form of Worship: I commit to give a certain amount of my salary/income to the local church, or other ministries God leads me to give to. Giving is a form of worship; we need to be honest with God about giving financially. We should be generous with what we’ve been given. Accountability (We can ask: “have you worshiped God by giving this week/month?” “Did you give as a form of worship?”). I commit to make financial giving a priority, and believe that there is blessing in giving.
2 Corinthians 9:6-8
Luke 16:8-9

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Our Values

Prayer: individual and corporate prayer, natural worship, a natural part of our lives together through practice.

Peace: an atmosphere of peace and harmony.

Creativity: encouraging creative activities rather than habitual defaults.

Hospitality: to strangers (who become friends), friends and family.

Blessing: to guests and to each other, speaking positively and encouragingly, (acts of service, gifts, etc).

Sunday, May 27, 2007

House Famous Internship Document

PURPOSE OF INTERNSHIP: for people interested in joining intentional Christian community to determine (through prayer and experience) if a long term commitment to intentional community is part of God’s direction for their lives. For members of the House Famous to determine if the intern is meant to be a part of our community, through prayer and seeking guidance from God; a time to build into and challenge the spiritual and relational growth of the intern. A time of personal spiritual exploration, learning and experiments with faith in action through practical daily life and service in the House and larger community.
PRE-INTERNSHIP: Future Interns can live in the house (if necessary) for up to a maximum 6 weeks before starting their internship: the internship will begin when the following Requirements are met. (Consideration for individual circumstances can be dealt with on a case by case basis).
Requirements for starting an internship include:
a) Your personal finances are in order (ie. You have some form of income, preferably other than parent’s support, that will cover your rent amount. Due to the Kingston job market being tough to get into, we suggest looking for work prior to moving in.)
b) You have begun volunteering weekly at a downtown social service.
c) You have a church community that you regularly attend and that you are actively involved in.
d) You have made attempts to end (or at least address) any addictions in your life.
When these Requirements are met, the Internship Stage One can begin.
STAGE ONE: (3 months) During this time, interns will:
a) Participate in the life of the House fully (chores, pursuing deeper relationships , striving to live out the House Commitments, etc.)
b) Share an “Intern Moment” during the weekly check-in meeting: this moment is a chance to share what they are learning (and their opinions) about Intern readings, from Scripture, from volunteering, to share their positive and negative observations about the House, and consequently, how God is using the internship period to change them. This will be for the benefit of the intern to take time to reflect on what God is doing and what they are learning, and for the benefit of the house, to see how best to support the intern and make changes to the functioning of the House where needed.
c) Stage One of the internship is primarily a learning time, a time to get settled in and decide if a longer term commitment is possible, beneficial and in God’s direction for their life. It also provides the House members with a chance to determine if the intern should stay (if they are trying to get the most out of the experience, if they are meant to be a part of the community). Stage One will have a strong emphasis on reflection and being observational.
d) Stage One Interns will read and reflect on one of the following books: “Irresistible Revolution”, “Inhabiting the Church” “New Monasticism” “The 12 Marks of the New Monasticism.”
e) Stage One Interns will participate in meetings, and will have a voice, but will not have a vote. Stage One interns will not participate in incoming interns’ interviews.
f) Member Meetings: Interns who feel ready to commit to Stage Two should seek out Members and meet with them individually; these meetings would allow the intern to ask the member how they think their internship is going, ask for areas to improve on, get any feedback, and gives both people a chance to speak specifically into each other’s lives.
g) At this point, the members and the intern will seek God’s will to determine if the intern should stay in the House and move on to Stage Two, or if their direction lies elsewhere.

STAGE TWO: (3 months) During this time, interns will:
a) “Tell your story”: at the beginning of Stage Two, interns will write out and share their story of faith, how God has brought them to this point in their lives. This is to further share our lives in community and reflect on God’s direction further in your life.
b) Enter a time of taking on more responsibility and leadership in the House. This is a time for learning about how to lead the community. For instance, this may include facilitating the weekly meetings, leading prayer meetings, or being responsible for special tasks (like dealing with our landlord, etc.) Members will be intentional in preparing and teaching interns how to take on various tasks.
c) The emphasis on being reflective will continue, but will be paired with taking responsibility for the functioning of the House, and growth through practical involvement in maintaining the intentionality of the community. House members will continue to encourage the intern and build them up by sharing their stories, but we want to ensure that interns are at this stage beginning to show initiative and are not dependent on specific or more seasoned members of the House for their involvement in the House.
d) This Stage of the internship will also be a time to develop ideas and opinions about the House; each individual’s opinions matter, as the future of the House will be shaped by individuals. Interns will be assured that their opinions matter, and will be encouraged to develop and share their opinions openly. These contributions are essential to maintaining a healthy communication of values in the House.
e) Whenever possible, Stage Two interns will try to go to a New Monastic School for Conversion elsewhere (especially if other House members are going.) The purpose of this is to get a larger picture of and learn about New Monasticism, and to see other intentional communities at work.
f) Stage Two Interns will read and reflect on one of the following books: “Irresistible Revolution”, “Inhabiting the Church” “New Monasticism” “The 12 Marks of the New Monasticism.”
g) At the end of Stage Two, interns and House members will decide if the intern should become a House Member. AT THIS POINT, THE INTERN WOULD NEED TO BE ABLE TO MAKE A COMMITMENT OF 18 MONTHS of MEMBERSHIP, or decide to leave the House. This is to encourage stability and challenge the intern to a longer-term commitment to living in intentional community. Interns who decide to leave the House would be encouraged to leave promptly so as to make room for other possible future interns. We hope to maintain good relationships with interns who decide to leave, but cannot serve as a boarding house or cheap place to live for people who are not committed.
h) Member Meetings: Interns who are ready to make the 18 month commitment should seek out Members and meet with them individually; these meetings would allow the intern to ask the member how they think their internship is going, ask for areas to improve on, get any feedback, and provides a chance to speak more specifically into each other’s lives.
i) For Interns who are accepted as Members, the 18 month commitment would begin, and a Final Internship Report would be given, with an overview of highlights, things learned, hopes for the future, etc.