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San Marcos


 

 

 

 

An abbey for San Marcos.

Below, are some of the things that make us who we are.

 

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San Marcos


 

 

 

 

An abbey for San Marcos.

Below, are some of the things that make us who we are.

 

What's An Abbey?

 

Abbeys weren’t all mountain-top monasteries where people wore funny robes and meditated all day. They weren’t churches planted far from cities so people could leave this world behind. So what were abbeys and why is it in our name?

Abbeys began as intentional communities established next to local towns offering sanctuary and solitude for the weary. They were keepers of the faith; protectors of the Christian tradition; self-sustaining communities that utilized the skills of its inhabitants for the benefit of all. They were keenly aware of their neighbor’s needs and surplus from craftsmen, artisans, and bakers would be donated to neighboring cities for the well-being of its citizens.

An abbey’s story was the story of the people that lived within its confines, and the people they loved in neighboring cities and towns.
 

For the past year, we’ve been asking, what would a modern day abbey look like in San Marcos, California? What would be some distinguishing features of people who were part of this community look like? How would the neighborhoods that these people worked and lived in be impacted by such a people?

We dream of such a place on earth as it is in heaven, where all people, relationships, and communities are fully united with God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Whole and at peace. The Bible’s word for this “being made whole/restoration” is “Shalom.”

And we think an abbey is a great way to embody this. 

 
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Definitions


Words help imaginations flow.
We have a few phrases we use to talk about we value.

Definitions


Words help imaginations flow.
We have a few phrases we use to talk about we value.

Friends of God

Jesus, during his last time around the table with his disciples, took a moment to name the intimate relationship they all shared. The word Jesus used to describe this relationship was "friends." And he showed them what this kind of friendship looks like... sharing meals together, being patient with one another, forgiving each other, spending time together, and ultimately, being willing to sacrifice everything for the other. It may be that in our time, the word "friend" has lost its substance, but we want to reclaim it. 


Unlikely Friends

So we use this phrase to describe our community as it is and as we desire it to be. Unlikely- because the most profound friendship, God calling us friends, is about as unlikely as relationships get, so there are no bounds on who we might extend and receive the gift of friendship from.  If God could overcome all of the obstacles that isolate us from Him and from one another, then the church is invited to be in the same process: engaging the social, ethnic, and economic barriers that divide us from one another by practicing genuine friendship. 

 

Community Wholeness

Abbeys, at their best, were in the business of wholeness. They were functionally community centers at the center of God's community: cultivating collaborative relationships, caring for the least, shaping commerce, and seeking the peace of their towns. God's shalom isn't simply a "spiritual thing" but it's a peace that comes to bear on the sum of our lives, individual and corporate. To seek community wholeness is to live into the prayer that Jesus taught us, "on earth as it is in heaven."

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c4so


We are a part of something much bigger.
We are one little outpost of the global Christian family, the Anglican Communion, and Churches For the Sake of Others.

c4so


We are a part of something much bigger.
We are one little outpost of the global Christian family, the Anglican Communion, and Churches For the Sake of Others.

 

On Being Anglican

As our community formed, we were captivated by the image of being a church of healing and wholeness, of restoration, and tapping into a theme that runs the course of the Bible. Then we happened to discover that this impulse was nothing new. The historic church has held that the purpose of the church is to "restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ." Throughout this process, we've come to learn that being a community rooted in God's unfolding story is less about being novel, but rather, "The best changes come in the midst of continuity with our tradition."*

This is, in large part, why we are a church planted in the Anglican tradition. Being Anglican means we are not alone. It means that we get to be a part of a community that spans across the continents and stretches back in history, even as it reaches out in the future. Though we are grateful for our heritage, we also know we are a part of the family of faith that transcends any one group. In that sense we are “catholic.” That is, we are joined to all who worship Jesus Christ as Lord.

 

On Being a C4SO Church

We are glad to be a part of a community of Christian churches and leaders called Churches For the Sake of Others (C4SO).

C4SO recognizes that we live in a highly disconnected culture that is successful at efficiently isolating people. In such a culture, "...We envision incarnational ministry that is relational and accessible, as we invite others to 'come and see'…'come and receive.' We want to provide a place to truly connect and belong, which sometimes happens before people believe. Finally, we identify where God is at work and join him there, which requires paying close attention to his activity, often demonstrated in unexpected places and ways."


Notes
-Bishop Todd Hunter