The New Community : A Conversation and Celebration
In a world constantly experiencing injustice and fear, where do we see a desire for spiritual and social transformation? Amongst urban neighborhoods undergoing rapid displacement, what forms of life and expressions of community might enable us to respond faithfully?
Together we will explore these big questions, drawing on wisdom found in the book The New Community. Written by Elizabeth O'Connor, it chronicles pivotal years in the life of The Potter's House, including the birth of Jubilee Housing and the scattering of The Church of the Saviour into smaller faith communities. The New Community was recently republished in celebration of the renovation and renewal of The Potter's House. Copies will be available for purchase, with reading groups to follow this spring.
Refreshments will be provided.
ABOUT THE BOOK: The New Community by Elizabeth O’Connor
Real community cannot exist on its own; it can exist only in relationship to the world. Anyone wanting the kind of community that seeks to engage and be engaged by society will find helpful guidance in these stories and teachings. First published in 1976, The New Community is relevant still today. “The painful, fearful, wonderful message of the modern world,” Elizabeth O’Connor writes, “is that we are members one of the other, and that we cannot live if we are not in communion with each other.”
Drawing upon her experiences as a member of The Church of the Saviour in Washington, DC, in the years before it became a “scattered church” of multiple small faith communities, Elizabeth O’Connor writes of events in the church’s life and neighborhood almost as parables. Through stories of loss and redemption, struggle and movement, she illustrates what it looks like when ordinary people try to connect meaningfully with others and work together for change.
Anyone longing for a more compassionate and just society, to see it manifest here and now, will find in The New Community a compelling call to find a few others and begin to build it in tangible ways, together.
Elizabeth O’Connor was an early member of The Church of the Saviour and wrote several books about the church’s life, including Call to Commitment; Journey Inward, Journey Outward; Our Many Selves; Cry Pain, Cry Hope; Search for Silence; and Servant Leaders, Servant Structures.