The MWF has collaborated with a collection of residential intentional communities in Portland to teach about and experiment with alternative forms of Christian community from the following perspectives:
Listening for God in a post-Christian population from a contemplative Christian stance.
Engaging the primarily white population in the practices of intentional multi-cultural relational organizing to understand and companion people through common pressures and struggles (housing, migration stories, work with dignity, care for our common space).
Discovering with our denominational partner(s) what new sinews will be formed around the skeletons of rapidly shrinking and dying local church congregations and their underutilized properties.
The Portland Communities:
The Peace House
The 18th Avenue Peace House living community began in early 1986 as a joint effort of seven adults who were also involved in the formation of Metanoia Peace Community United Methodist Church. While the church congregation no longer gathers, fourteen residents and a non-profit organization, Grief Watch, still call the Peace House home.
Both permanent and long-term residents of the Peace House live together as a community of faith, sharing their lives and stewardship of the facility and its common ministries of community, hospitality, and peacemaking, and supporting each resident’s respective vocation.
This small intentional community is connected to the Fremont United Methodist Church, living in its parsonage and active participants in its ministry. The three original residents began meeting together in the spring of 2016, getting to know one another for several months before finally moving into the parsonage in October 2016.
The residents of the Wayside see their first year as an experiment based on the hypothesis that a group of people living together in faith can cultivate a community that adds value to the lives of those in and around it. To this end they have been trying out a lot of different ideas. Going in they knew that some will flop and some would succeed.
This group of six lives in a duplex in the heart of the Cully neighborhood directly across from Hacienda housing authority. Mystic Duplex was established in July 2016, engaging in one another’s lives, rooted in neighborhood, motivated by their vocations, and committed to their faith communities. Common practices include shared weekly prayer, community dinner, and spiritual
Members of the Mystic Duplex intentional community have been drawn to the Cully neighborhood because it is one of the last bastions of multi-culturalism and economic diversity in “inner” Portland. Much of that has to do with the Hacienda Community Development Coalition which preferences its apartments to immigrants and refugees. In this new political era, it is important that we acknowledge our own migration story, our own pressures, and live alongside those for whom danger is imminent.
Rooted in love, truly seeing one another, hearing and knowing one another's stories, lifting up the gifts already present in the neighborhood, and listening together for the ways the Spirit is already at work where we are, will transform our communities. Through the building of relationships with neighbors, we can act together to powerfully create the kind of neighborhood we all dream of.
The MWF has developed practices and tools designed to increase the capacity of its participants toward greater spiritual depth and leadership, entrepreneurial adventure, and organic community development.
We are seeing this neighborhood as the ground zero for growing a powerful movement in Portland, not just for this neighborhood, but as the administrative and hospitality base for the entire regional network in development.