The Inside Out Monastery

Welcome to our experiment with truth!

The vision of the Community of the Reconciliation is for the monastery to be turned inside out:

The monastic vision need no longer be confined to the outskirts of the city, with access mediated by the institutional church. It is time for a prophetic place of lived contemplation to take root in our neighbourhood;

a bold model of community, faith and practice that can once again offer its gifts in the service of all God’s children...

That's the vision...

welcome to the journey of getting there from here.

Who We Are

>> Tuesday, October 6, 2009

We are a group of friends who are followers of Christ and who have decided to experiment with finding ways to live in the city with a rhythm of contemplative practice and service. We live on the second floor of big, old, slightly rickety, house at the corner of Oxford and Cedar streets in Berkeley. We live alongside, or rather upstairs, from a community of Franciscan Friars (Episcopal) and so there is quite a concentration of people living strange lives on our corner.

The Community of the Reconciliation emerged from conversations we had from the fall of 2008 to the Spring of 2009 when Brian, Justin, Heather, Debra and Ernest would meet weekly to attend mass, cook and break bread together and talk about our visions for living into our callings as people touched by the Gospel.

Here's a little more about each of us...

Justin is our resident bagpiper and storyteller from Delaware. His formation in silence during his time as an aspirant at St. Benedict's Monastery in Snowmass, CO, a year of zen training at Tofukuji in Japan and his ribald sense of humour enrich our common life immeasurably. He is in his last year of seminary at CDSP and a candidate for Holy Orders in the Episcopal Church. He and Heather have been partners for eight years.

Brian is our Nevadan expert in Christology and sweating. After dreams of football glory faded when he found out that his big hit in tenth grade was a clip, unsportsmanlike conduct, and 40 yards behind the play, he made his way to the Episcopal church. Brian's gift for intelligent synthesis and speech and jest are gifts to us all. He is in his third year of an MDiv/MA at CDSP and a postulant for Holy Orders in the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire.  He and his partner Cat will be married in June.

Heather is the community proofreader and writer from Philly.  She should be writing this.  Her ability to focus the community on our pastoral calling and sing Flight of the Conchords 'Sugar Lumps' are irreplaceable.  She works as and English teacher at UC Berkeley and has been incredibly generous in sharing Justin with the monastery over the last eight years.  She is member of the Episcopal Church.

Jeannie is Reconciliation's naturopathic physician and Quaker from Baltimore via Portland.  Her focus on the process of embodied transformation and health and deep silence is an integral aspect of our life together, as long as she remains upwind after eating.  She is working as a Naturopath in Berkeley and is married to Ernest.  She is at heart a Quaker although has come to love the mystery of the Eucharist.

Ernest is our resident paleolithic Reformer from the wilds of Canada.  When not foraging for grain/soy/dairy free food he gives us the gift of a vision of contemplation and action in community.  His dreams of becoming a monk were set aside for dreams of becoming Jeannie's husband. Ernest is in his second year of an MDiv program at CDSP and is a postulant for Holy Orders in the Anglican Church of Canada, Diocese of British Columbia.


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