Since our inception, The Emmaus Community has dreamed about being both a dispersed and a residental community in Victoria BC; with some of our members sharing life and presence together and practicing hospitality in a place-based hub.
We see this vision as something akin to an 'urban monastery' where diverse members can live as singles, couples and families in their own spaces - and then go daily from 'temple to table' together.
The vision, ultimately is one of a sharing of life and spiritual practice - which would allow a 'container' to move deeper into our neo-monastic vows of prayer, presence and simplicity.
Through our development as a community, we've already started to live into some of these practices we envision sharing in our residental aspects; shared meals, deep and ongoing intentional formation, inviting those seeking hospitality, shaping our conflict resoultion practices, some elements of an informal sharing economy - and of course, all rooted in the foundation of daliy prayer and contemplation. From 2018-2020 we ran our Priory, a space of hospitality and retreat - which closed due to Covid. In 2020, we started living into a monastic 'customary' with more intensive practices for our Covenanted membership. In 2023, we renewed our committment to being a neo-monastic and intentional Christian Community.
We believe that a residental hub would create space to do this for some of our members who are called into this kind of life.
As a step in the direction, some of our members have registered the Burning Hearts Housing Cooperative as a vehicle to have this vision come to be in the years to come. We've been working on a business plan, and a model that will foster diversity and stability.
There have been a number of sharp turns and discouraging points along the road (and will likely be more), but we continue to believe that God is calling us into something deep in how we live together as a neo-monastic, intenational Christian community.
Currently, we are in considering either partnering with churches to lease or purchase land from - and we're also keeping an eye at private property that is on the market to house this vision.
We continue to believe that this vision, which would seek to create affordable and sustainable spaces for a diversity of people, fosters community and deeper spirituality, and could be a model for others to develop cooperative housing. We also see it as an emerging post-Christendom, disciple-shaping way of being church.
We seek the means to move forward in this vision, with burning hearts.
We cherish your prayers for sustenance as we continue to work toward this dream.
* note, the image is from Vancouver CoHousing, which we visited in 2019.