An Attentive Advent

“…you must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” (Matthew 24:44)  

Advent is a season of anticipation. In the life of the Community,  everybody is busy – a flurry of carol services, Christmas cards and decorating, alongside the usual rhythm of prayer, study and service. There’s an anticipation of celebrating Christ’s coming at Christmas, but we’re also reminded of his return. We’re not given a date for that, though. We’re  just told to be ready.

During Advent it can be especially easy to be very results-driven. Cards must be sent.  Guests must be welcomed. Gifts must be wrapped. Projects must be completed before Christmas. But being faithful to his call – like the five wise bridesmaids in Matthew 25 – is more than activity; it is attentiveness.  Not being so distracted by busyness that we fail to hear Jesus calling.

So members in the Community all take time – ten months full-time, for Residents, or a couple of hours a week, and a few weeks a year, for Non-Residents, to listen to the still, small voice of the Spirit, to align our priorities with His, in the words of one of this year’s Resident Members.  Being attentive often means making that most fundamental of sacrifices – that of our time.  But it also unlocks the joy of living more fully in relationship with God and one another. As we listen to the voice of Jesus – through prayer, scripture, tradition, service, and one another – we become more ready. Ready not because we have a list of activities, but because we learn to recognise his voice and his presence in unexpected places.

Archbishop Justin is now inviting applications for the 2018-2019 cohort of the Community of St Anselm – a community that draws on our monastic inheritance to equip young adults to attentively follow Christ for the rest of their lives.

What can I expect from the Community of St Anselm in 2018-19?

  • A study programme that takes Community Members on a practical and theological journey through Archbishop Justin’s three major priorities – Prayer, Evangelism and Reconciliation
  • A close-knit and supportive community that draws together young adults from all over the world and across many different denominations and traditions
  • Tailored retreats that cover Life in the Holy Spirit, the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises [link], life in Community and being a Christian at work
  • Personal Spiritual Accompaniment [link] and regular Sharing Group meetings
  • An opportunity to reflect deeply on God’s call and take time to listen to him and to others.

The programme is delivered in two ways.

Our Non-Resident programme is designed to help busy professionals find ways to listen attentively to God in the midst of the relentless activity of daily life. You’ll develop habits of prayer, service and community.  Over three residential retreats you’ll explore life in the Holy Spirit, the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises, and being a Christian in the workplace. Weekly meetings involve Sharing Group time and teaching from world-class speakers and theologians. Monthly days together with the Resident Members give space for exploring new ways of praying and practical tools for discernment and community.

Our Resident programme gives people from all over the world a ten-month experience of monastic Community life. This includes three retreats, two days a week in service to the most vulnerable in our local communities and a more in-depth programme of theological reflection.

Who can apply to join the Community?

  • We’re looking for Christians aged 20-35 from all over the world who take seriously the call of Christ – to love God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love neighbour as themselves.
  • We’re also inviting UK professionals who want to explore their own Christian calling in the workplace, in the busyness of daily life, into Non-Residential Membership
  • You don’t need any formal theological training or community experience to apply – just a hunger to know and love God, and other people, better.

 

So from everyone in the Community of St Anselm, we wish you a joyful and attentive Advent!

“I joined the Community to align my priorities with God’s priorities.” – Tonde, Resident Member 2017-2018

Apply now

 

New Prior Announced for the Community of St Anselm

Our new Prior is an Anglican priest and biblical scholar originally from the American Southwest. 

The Revd Dr Rosalyn Murphy, currently vicar of St Thomas’ Church in Blackpool, joins us in April 2018. She takes over from the Revd Anders Litzell, who was Prior of the Community since its launch in 2015.  Her appointment  takes us forward into an exciting new phase in the Community’s life.

“It is indeed an honour to be selected as Prior to the Community of Saint Anselm. While it will be quite different from parish work, I’m looking forward to mentoring young Revd Dr Rosalyn MurphyChristian leaders from around the world as they seek to broaden their faith. Serving within a monastic community where there will be opportunities to teach, pastor, and learn from the diverse cultural and social experiences of others, will be a welcome challenge. I believe being part of the community will allow me to play a meaningful role in shaping the future Church on an international scale.” – The Revd Dr Rosalyn Murphy

Rosalyn has extensive experience of formation, having been a training facilitator for curates and new priests in four Church of England dioceses. She is also a published biblical scholar, bringing a Liberation and Womanist theological perspective to her research. She has been a frequent guest lecturer at academic institutions and organisations including UNESCO and the universities of Durham, Cambridge, Kent and Bristol, among others.

Born in Texas, Dr Murphy spent most of her life in Wisconsin, where her father was an ordained Pentecostal minister in the Church of God in Christ, and her mother served as the diocesan head of women’s ministry. She has an honours degree in Communications and Theology from Marquette University, and completed postgraduate studies in International Relations at the University of Wisconsin. She received her master degree in divinity from Union Theological Seminary in Virginia, before travelling to England.  Whilst in England, Dr Murphy completed a masters in theological research, and a doctorate in theology from Durham University prior to her ordination in 2005. Rosalyn has lived in the UK for nearly 20 years with her husband Kenneth, now a retired entrepreneur and clergyman. She has two adult children.

“I’m delighted that Rosalyn is coming to join the Community of St Anselm as Prior. Not only does she bring a wealth of pastoral and teaching experience, she embodies many of the central themes of our community life, which are focused on rooting young people in Jesus. Rosalyn’s personal story, significant ministry experience and the fact she is from another part of the Anglican Communion are gifts, enhancing the diverse team who collaboratively lead this community.” –  Archbishop Justin Welby, Abbot of the Community 

Considering membership? Applications for Community of St Anselm membership in 2018/19 are now open. Apply online now

 

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