The below post by JPUSA member Tammy Perlmutter is originally posted on her Raggle-Taggle blog. She kindly allows me to publish her writings on Wilson Station.
The Nester is doing a 31 Day challenge. Pick a topic and write about it for 31 days. So far there are over
200 400(!) bloggers joining in. I need the discipline and the community, so I’m linking up too.
I’m going to write about what I love and what I live.
Most of you don’t know that I live in an intentional Christian community in the inner-city of Chicago. It’s called Jesus People USA. It’s as old as I am, celebrating its 40th birthday just a week after I celebrated mine.
Hereafter, I will be referring to it as JPUSA or JP, for the sake of brevity. And this will be my story, and JPUSA’s story, all wrapped in one.
It will be a tale of seeking and finding, of pilgrimage in the wilderness, a promise made and a promise kept, leaving home and gaining a home, a journey begun in darkness and emerging in light.
It will be funny (humor is the backbone of community. And you thought it was the BIBLE), startling (like a PG version of The Exorcist), heartbreaking (Community comes with a lot of loss), and inspiring (We get stuff done, because we do it together).
You will be reading a lot of quotes from luminaries like Jean Vanier, Henri Nouwen, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Larry Crabb, Kathleen Norris, Esther DeWaal, Joan Chittister, Norvene Vest, St. Benedict, Teresa of Avila, and maybe even Finn from Adventure Time.
I know you’ll probably have a lot of questions, like, Do you all eat together? Are you in a cult? Are there any eligible bachelors? And to those questions I would answer, Sorta kinda, NO!, and It depends on what your definition of eligible is. Do you like tattoos and guys who don’t shower? You do? Then you should come visit. Feel free to ask questions in the comments.
“God has willed that we should seek and find His living Word in the witness of a brother, in the mouth of man. Therefore, the Christian needs another Christian who speaks God’s Word to him. He needs him again and again when he becomes uncertain and discouraged, for by himself, he cannot help himself without belying the truth. He needs his brother man as a bearer and proclaimer of the divine word of salvation. The Christ in his own heart is weaker than the Christ in the heart of his brother; his own heart is uncertain, his brother’s is sure.And that also clarifies the goal of all Christian community: they meet one another as bringers of the message of salvation.”
Life Together: A Discussion of Christian Fellowship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer