Life in Community

Day by Day, Stone by Stone

January 12, 2021 by

Over a year ago, we were commissioned by our church community to “go West!” Our task? To begin a new community venture. That venture is now beginning to take physical shape in Denver.

After being hosted by many people in a variety of settings, we are finally settled in a community house of our own, which we’ve named Columbine House, after the street it’s on. Our aim? To gather together people who have been moved by God to build his kingdom together, where his love is demonstrated in everyday life.

Jesus speaks about the kingdom in terms of a mustard seed, one of the tiniest seeds. This is how God invades the earth – invisibly, unobtrusively. Our house is thus a modest one. For Denver, however, our backyard is exceptionally large – perfect for having gatherings beneath the blue Colorado sky. The house is also wonderfully situated: a few blocks from the University of Denver, a fifteen-minute walk from the Light Rail, and just three miles from the center of the city. We can walk to shops; within a mile radius of us are all the major stores. The neighborhood is a mix of single-family homes, peppered with town-homes and various kinds of rental properties, which can house others who may one day want to join us. Walking the streets are seniors, young families, teens, and young adults who all naturally congregate at a gorgeous park just two blocks away.

Columbine HouseColumbine House in December 2020

Our new community house is a gift for sure. But more amazing are the ways in which God has provided for all of our different needs. We have not only received one financial gift after another, but friends have made sure to help us get the furnishings we need. New mattresses and bedframes, durable couches, an extendable community dining table with wooden chairs; coffee tables, dressers, throw rugs, kitchen appliances – the list goes on. Friends have also come by to help scrub floors and wipe down walls, and move us in.

And all this despite the coronavirus! Even with the pandemic, we keep meeting seeking hearts. People are not just questioning the way things are, but are genuinely looking for an alternative way to live out their faith. When we share our vision, instead of skepticism or criticism we get questions – questions about what such a life might look like, and what such a life demands. Just recently, a retired high school history teacher we know asked if he could bring some of his former students, now in their late twenties and thirties, to our place. In his words, they “feel disenfranchised, both politically and spiritually.” They are not the only ones!

Charles and Leslie MooreCharles and Leslie under the aspens

How we will be able to build community when so many live life apart from one another, we don’t yet know. We are determined, however, to find creative ways. We often think of these lyrics from a song in Brother Sun, Sister Moon, a movie about the life of Saint Francis:

If you want your dream to be, build it slow and surely.
Small beginnings, greater ends, heartfelt work grows purely . . .

Having a community house is no silver bullet; it is merely a vessel through which God can work. He must fill both this place and our lives to such an extent that others will be drawn to Jesus and be able to hear his call. If this can happen, then a common life of love and justice will be born. Whomever God will lead our way is something only he can know. For our part, we want to make our life together available for anyone seeking to live a transformed and transforming life with others.

We truly believe that people today need to see, taste, feel, and experience firsthand that a different kind of life is possible in Christ. Preaching is not enough, and often, it’s an obstacle. But where two or three are gathered, doing life together in his name, things can really happen. It is in this spirit that we invite fellow seekers to join with us in advancing God’s kingdom, even if it is only one community house, one neighborhood at a time. “Day by day, stone by stone” God can build, from the ground up, a life where his peace and justice are tangibly embodied in the world.

Charles and Leslie Moore live at Columbine House, a new Bruderhof in Denver, Colorado.


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