In Tucson I was part of forming of an ecumenical, intentional community called the Restoration Project. We take inspiration from our particular faith traditions, as well as new monasticism and the tradition of Catholic Worker houses. We are shaped also by living one hour from the U.S./ Mexico border.
We moved in March 1, 2009 to a historic boarding house near the railroad tracks. Before this, seven of us met weekly for about 9 months to build relationships and discern our collective vision for community. Among our first members were an Episcopal priest, two Presbyterian ministers, a Quaker peace activist and folk singer, a former Evangelical, a Unitarian Universalist, and a writer with an M.Div. from an Episcopal seminary, all in our 20s/30s.
We offer hospitality, leaving one room open for guests. We host weekly gatherings and an open meal. We garden and have chickens. We sing together and take a Sabbath. We experiment with offering events to the wider community that build community and support our mission. We have hosted a backyard documentary film festival, a Remembering Dinner for All Saints/ All Souls day, and led public rituals for healing and protest around issues of torture, federal prosecution of humanitarian aid, and the deaths of migrants in the desert.
Beyond our resident members, dozens of others come for a meal, conversation, or to participate in our events. People have found sanctuary to rest for a while in our hospitality room, activists have found spiritual support and friendship, ministers have found colleagues who listen and understand their struggles, young adults have found a place to serve and ask questions, and many not even searching for anything spiritual have come to enjoy a fun party or two.
We are reimagining church by weaving the best of our spiritual traditions into our everyday lives, having authentic relationships with our neighbors and those who visit, and seeking to live our faith in ways that call us beyond our comfort zones.
Our mission statement is: "Nourished and empowered by the Spirit, The Restoration Project Community seeks to live in right relationship with one another, the community, and the earth, through hospitality, simple and sustainable living, playful spirituality, and peaceful, prophetic action."
For more see: www.restorationproject340.wordpress.com