This was posted this morning at inward/outward, and addresses what I was struggling to express in my previous post this morning:
Economic Addiction at inward/outward
In recovery from other addictions, we often need clear guidelines on what â€œsobrietyâ€ looks like, i.e. no drinking for the alcoholic or three moderate meals a day for the compulsive overeater. For our addiction to the economy of the dominant culture, we need a similar guideline. Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries provides one that many are finding helpful called the â€œSeven-fold Household Sabbath Economics Covenant.â€ Although not rigid, it provides clear suggestions on how to make progress in the area of our personal economics. It focuses on investment of surplus capital, debt reduction, giving, environmental practices, consumption, solidarity with those from a different social stratum, and work/Sabbath.
Since committing to this process with others in my faith community, I have experienced some profound changes in my life.
The matter of “what this ecclesia looks like” is the matter that drives me constantly back to the models of community and practice and embodiment that have been molded into a “tradition” in The Church of the Saviour Communities (the church tradition behind the inward/outward site). It’s “structures” with which they are constantly engaging in order to depart from the cultural patterns of relationships are the most effectively articulated “narratives” that I have ever encountered. Those stories related by the books of Elizabeth O’Connor such as Call to Commitment, Journey Inward/Journey Outward, The New Community, and Servant Leaders, Servant Structures, are all history, written out of the experiences of a people engaged in this struggle to form with each other, and in the prescence of God, an alternative mode of life which challenges the lies of consumerism, individualism, and what have you, and pays a good deal of attentions to such matters as discernment and call , mission, and gift. To this end, the Church of the Saviour communties talk of discipline and accountability, something that is a bit of an anathema to today’s cultural churches.