Thursday, March 17, 2005

postmodern monastery in amsterdam

Karel, from Amsterdam is asking for prayer for what could be a cool new adventure.

Hey Steve,

Let me introduce myself: I’m a philosophy-student living in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Over the past years I’ve been involved in setting up and facilitating to different networks in the world of music & arts and working on social justice.

I’ve been very intrigued and fascinated by a lot of the writings on your website. Especially the paper/dream about ‘the postmodern monastery’ really spoke to me as it so much look like the dreams I had over the past few years.

(Karel is probably talking about a rant I did about postmodern monasteries here, which still gets lots of visits. It’s also updated and put in a larger missional context; alongside festival spirituality, art collectives and house churches in postcard 7 of my book. Anyhow, back to the email)

This leads me to the following: At the minute we’re talking to the head of a Franciscan fraternity in Amsterdam who have their monastery + church up for sale. It’s going really quick now as we’ll have a meeting to discuss our proposal next friday. It would be the best place ever to start a postmodern monastery – in the heart of the old city and with the history of a Franciscan fraternity. We want it to be a place for new media, visual arts, community, and for people working together on social justice … pray with us for God’s guidance in this process – both for us and the brothers from the fraternity who have to make the decision … pray to our God for guidance in this project…

Praying for you Karel as I type …

Posted by steve at 11:36 AM


  1. That sounds so cool. Praying too.

    Comment by Paul Fromont — March 17, 2005 @ 4:43 pm

  2. The Franciscan history sure gives it a good ethos, its sounds really exciting.

    Comment by gary manders — March 17, 2005 @ 11:45 pm

  3. interesting comment Gary. My first thought was; oh, I hope they respect and build appropriate continuities with that Fransciscan heritage. So much emerging church stuff seems parasitic on the past, often with very little respect.

    Comment by steve — March 18, 2005 @ 8:54 am

  4. Wow! What an opportunity…

    Comment by tim — March 18, 2005 @ 11:53 am

  5. Wow, alright. Sounds great! Perhaps we’ll get to visit one day…

    Comment by lynne — March 18, 2005 @ 12:53 pm

  6. Well,thanks a lot Steve for posting this and thanks to you all for the response!

    Today we’ll get the key and move in there ‘temporarily’, which means ‘until they’ve sold or given away the place’ to the people with the best idea on keeping the ethos in tact.

    The Fransican ethos offers a good startingpoint and we have to realize that St. Francis (it’s founder) was trying to serve the needs of the people of HIS time where-as we hope to serve and facilitate to the needs of our time and place.

    But humility – as always – is the word here. The last thing we need is another big plan with better intentions than it’s able to realize.

    So, any thinking on this issue would be welcome.
    Make sure you come by when you happen to come to Amsterdam!

    I’ll keep you posted on how this evolves…

    Comment by karel — March 18, 2005 @ 8:02 pm

  7. Franciscans are about prayer, community, mission, serving the poor, in love humility and joy. I certqainly believe this ethos if maintained will be key to the future of this Pomo monastic endeavour.

    Comment by gary manders — March 18, 2005 @ 11:11 pm

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