Let’s face it, modern intentional communities don’t have the best reputation for sustainability, accountability and long-term health. At their worst, they can become insular or even cult-like.

We’re setting a number of things in place early on which we hope will help with our overall health as a community.

Our community has come to believe that, in spite of the harm the Church has done, we need a posture of “humble submission to Christ’s Body, the Church”.  For this reason, we have choosen to affiliate ourselves with two institutions in the Christian Church – which give us some "jewels" in their distinctives, as well as an accountability structure for leadership.

We are an Ecumenical Shared Ministry of the Anglican Church of Canada  (and more locally the Anglican Diocese of British Columbia) and the United Church of Canada (Pacific Mountain Region).  Both of these denominations have strong guidelines and processes of accountability.

We also find great affinity with the Parish Collective – who are seeking to support Christian Communities who are rooting themselves in their neighbourhoods and recovering a sense of ‘place’ in the ‘parish’. We are also proud to call ourselves part of be a part of the NewLeaf Church Planting Network, who have supported us in our work.

Our members may come from many different stripes and expressions of the Christian faith.

As with ‘old’ monastic orders we have  “Visitors” (traditionally know as either an Episcopal Visitor or Bishop Visitor).  For us, these are leaders in Christ’s Church who will visit us regularly, and do yearly check-in (at least once a year) with every member of the community. These visitors will be elected yearly by the community.

The role of the Visitor/s will be to hold a mirror to the community in terms of our common life and health.  This will primarily mean joining the community once a year and interviewing all members in a retreat setting.  A secondary role for the Visitor/s will be to support and advocate for the Community in the wider structures of the Churches and ecumenically.

The Visitor/s will strive to be present to witness vows of Covenanting members and will strive to be available to the community leadership in times of need or crisis.

Our current (Anglican) Visitor (elected Fall 2014) is the Rt. Rev. Logan McMenamie, retired Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of BC and a Benedictine Canon.  Our United Church visitor the Rev. Gail Miller (elected Fall 2020) who is the Regional Minister, Pastoral Relations & Community of Faith Support for the Islands (Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands).  

These leaders join us yearly on our retreat, and more often when called upon by our leadership.

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We will be part of national and international conversations within the wider Church about how ‘new monastic’ communities can be a life-giving and renewing part of Christ’s Body.  

We also hope to connect with like minded new monastic, traditional monastic, emerging & missional expressions of the Church – and hope to facilitate conversations between these communities.

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These are a few of the structures and connections in place which seek to ensure spiritual, emotional and physical health, healthy conflict resolution and stability within the Emmaus Community.

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