“…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