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Well, with Spring and warmer weather upon us, the Mother House has been bustling. This year, we are dedicating ourselves to transforming the outside of the residence to allow space for hospitality, reading, meditation and prayer, and even mini-retreats. While we do not have the land for our Abbey (and we will be starting focused stewardship for that soon out in the community), we can still fulfill our ministry as an Order of urban monasticism by using what we have for the benefit of our community and the Church around us. It is our hope that we could have the grounds fully relandscaped by June, just in time for our Order’s annual Convocation and retreat so our out of town siblings can enjoy the space while they are here.
Not only for our members in Atlanta, but for all members in the broader Diocese, this will be a readily available space for people to come and enjoy. For those outside of Atlanta, this will be here for you when you come visit, and your support will help the Order’s ministry in the community. The members of the Order here in the city and the residents of the Mother House will be putting in all the labor, but of course there is always the cost for materials. Thus far, it looks like the project will run around $7,000.00 for what would be a $15,000 plus job if contracted professionally. We have already pooled $1,800 from our own reserves right now. But that still leaves over $5,000 left to cover. Since we don’t have the Abbey yet, we want to show that hospitality through community is still possible in small settings which is our commitment in rediscovering urban monasticism. Still, like all other communities, we need help from the greater community. After all, that’s what helps to remind us why we are here and that it is ALL of us that make up the Body of Christ.
You’ll find above a sketch of the backyard project which will be the most substantial transformation of the front and backyard. The features of this project are a microcosm of what we will have for the Abbey (consider this our trial run!). The patios and porch provide space for community dining outside as well as spaces for reading, individual prayer and contemplation, and communal prayer services. With a small fire pit fitted for one of the patios, the Order will finally be able to host its own all night Easter Vigils! The down hill terracing will provide space for Br. Addison to design permaculture gardens that will not only feed the residents but also provide teaching space to instruct others (parishes, families, etc.) on how to grow their own sustainable, organic urban gardens. The terracing will also be designed as meditation gardens with a water feature on the bottom tier to allow tranquil space to sit and rest in God’s creation. When we offer mini-retreats, the solarium, porch and patios will provide space for instruction and for guests to wonder and sit between the guided lessons.
I would ask that you sit with this request, look over the plan, and pray. When you’ve shared that sacred space with God, please let us know if you’ll be able to help. You can contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. God’s Peace.