Sunday, July 7, 2013

Communal Living in the Wesleyan tradition

Forming a Christian community that pooled material resources into a common fund was an ideal Wesley expressed in writing but did not implement throughout the Methodist Connexion.  Randy Maddox's article provides a summary of Wesley's argument that the first church described in the book of Acts was the ideal every Christian going on to perfection should strive to emulate.  This perspective is found in his doctrinal Notes for Acts 4:32--
And the multitude of them that believed - Every individual person were of one heart and one soul - Their love, their hopes, their passions joined: and not so much as one - In so great a multitude: this was a necessary consequence of that union of heart; said that aught of the things which he had was his own - It is impossible any one should, while all were of one soul. So long as that truly Christian love continued, they could not but have all things common.
I've discovered an intentional community in Todd, NC founded by a UMC--  The website doesn't indicate whether or not Wesleyan theology is an organizing principle for their life together.  Are you aware of any other intentional UM communities?

What besides holding all things in common would mark a community as distinctively Wesleyan?  Frequent communion would have to be on the list.  A commitment to loving God and Neighbor and using the means of grace to mature in a faith that works by love is another given.  Class meetings.  Meals together, a common house, community garden?

In your opinion, is there any interest in fulfilling this part of Wesley's vision for the Methodists?

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