Becoming Chris Kamalski

"There's a Writer outside ourselves, plotting a better story for us" ~Don Miller

Tag: Missional Community

The Pangani Ark Of Transition.

It's metaphorically ironic how much the NieuCommunities/Pangani Ark looks like a coffin (Something must die for something else to rise!).

Really proud of NieuCommunities South Africa  for carrying forward the mission and memory of NieuCommunities South Africa into the heart of Pretoria from our old stomping grounds way out in Pretoria North, Pangani.

I was initially called back to Pretoria to not only pursue Maxie (the real reason :)), but also to help NieuCommunities South Africa move into the heart of the city center and transition towards apprenticing Africans into sustainable mission around the world. It’s been amazing as Maxie and I have somewhat returned to square one in the past few weeks of our discernment process to realize that my two initial reasons in mission for returning to Pretoria are well on their way to completion, within the time frame (2 years from early 2010) of my commitment towards this very transition (again, 1: helping our missional community move into the heart of Pretoria to align ourselves more centrally with the life and needs of the city, and 2: transitioning toward the apprenticing in mission of South African leaders).

This is happening people, as evidenced by NCSA’s wonderfully creative “Pangani Ark” retreat this past weekend. Here’s Joe’s thoughts, and a Facebook album:

As a missional monastic community, Pangani played a critical part in our formation. God met us all in deep ways. This is our constant reminder that we stand on the shoulders of many others who came before. As we move to where God has us in the city, we carry these memories with us. Baie dankie dat jy God vir die gawe van Pangani! (via Joe Reed, Director of NieuCommunities South Africa)

What Are We Doing? (Pt. 1)

(Top to Bottom, Left to Right): Curtis Love, Ezra Reed (4), Myself, Natalie Reed, Joe Reed, Keziah Reed (2), Malachi Reed (4 months).

This series of posts will attempt to convey a bit of the steps through the fog of the last ten weeks of my time here in Pretoria as a part of our NieuCommunities South Africa team. Each reflection will seek to answer the question of What are we doing? in a simple,  straightforward manner that hopefully paints a clearer picture as to our adventures as a missional community in transition. Check back here over the next week or so for more reflections!

What are we doing?

We are engaging in the formation of friendship as a new family unit seeking to live life on mission, together! This means that we have begun experimenting with a rhythm of life together over these past several weeks, a weekly rhythm that includes:

  1. Daily morning prayers during the work week (Currently, we are reflectively reading The Divine Hours by Phyllis Tickle, a fantastic Protestant version of the Book of Common Prayer that follows the church’s liturgical seasons).
  2. Weekly common meals (It is still surprising to me how powerful sharing food together at one table can be in drawing a community of diverse people together, even though this was regular occurrence within my apprenticeship year in 2009).
  3. The_Clearness_Committee (Just finishing, and something I will post on in depth later, but a powerful communal discipline used to help those in transition out of our community discern the movement of God within their vocational choices and future life direction. I have been facilitating this time as a close ‘cousin’ to spiritual direction).
  4. Neighborhood exploration (Prayer walks throughout Clydesdale, the ‘sanctuary within the city’ that we are seeking to move into as a missional community to serve as our home base and ‘hub’ of missional activity. Also, conversations and listening to locals within the neighborhoods in and around Clydesdale, all in an attempt to discern what God is up to within this slice of the city).
  5. Strategic ‘responsive’ planning as a staff team (Joe has lead us through a multi-week process of what we God has done through us in our past as a part of NCSA, where we are at currently, and what our unique mandate looks like as a missional community that trains and sends South African leaders into sustainable mission. It has been a rewarding process dialoguing and moving forward together with Joe and Curtis as a part of the trinitarian (Ha!) staff team).

My vote for favorite team photo. I call it "Ezra Patricide."