Sunday, March 01, 2009

Monk Punks

Yesterday, I had the privilege of visiting Shawn and Kate's home. Actually, it is more than just a home - it is a community. It is a community for the group of people who live there in a co-operative living arrangement, and it is also a community of faith.

Shawn and Kate are originally from Lethbridge but moved to Edmonton a few months ago. They came here to reach out to the anarchist, punk, activist, and artist communities. Originally, the faith community bore the name "Monk Punks" reflecting the lifestyle of many of the people involved, but has since changed to "Look to the Cross for Victory."

Currently meeting on Saturdays, the community is associated with the Victory denomination. There were around 14 people there, mostly people under 30 bearing various kinds of piercings, tattoos, funky hairstyles, and leather clothing. It was next-generation and authentic.

The time there began with brunch (vegetarian breakfast burritos!) that several of the young women prepared. After cleaning up, we gathered in the living room for music. A guitar was being passed around, and eventually it found its way to me. I played the first half of "I Only Ask of God."

After a brief Bible verse meditation, Kate, Shawn's wife, put together a handmade songbook (a hymn 'zine, one could say). She led music, and has a beautiful voice. Music was followed by a time of sharing. One of the community members talked about judging others. It was a very appropriate topic since many of us have been judged in various situations because of our appearance or points of view.

We had some more music and prayer, and then Shawn gave me the ground tour of the home. There is a guest room, because the place is always receiving guests whom they can serve as Jesus served. Another room is a kind of art and journalling retreat. The walls are filled with expressions of art and faith. This is a place where creativity is highly values - even the calendars are hand drawn.

As I said before, the fellowship was genuine - these are people who truly have a heart after G-d. And like me, they are people who often walk between two worlds where people may not always share either their faith or ideas concerning social justice.

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