Christians Interested in Building Communities for Outreach
Our goals: 1) Glorify God the Father (Isaiah
43:7) by becoming like His son Jesus (Rom
Cor 3:18), 2) Help “one another” become like Jesus by
living in close proximity to share time, space, resources, and
10:24), 3) Let our love and good works witness to our
5:16). For more details see the summary Why Live in
Monthly Roundtable Discussion on Living in Spiritual Extended
Families (Christian Community)
Signs of Life (722
Mass.) Conference Room
We have been discussing the book When
the Church was a Family by Joseph H. Hellerman.
We have also been discussing the book Behold
the Lamb! (The Story of the Moravian Church) by Peter
Hoover. Especially read about their community life in chapters
9 - 17.
Please come share your
thoughts and tell us about your community experiences!
Eight past meetings (in 2012) - March 23, April 20, May 18,
June 22, July 20, Aug. 17, Sept. 21, Oct. 19
has been happening in Indiana, Florida, and Ohio for almost 2
Communal Fellowship Meeting was held on August 22-25
2013 at Auspitz (Hustopeče) in southern Moravia, Czech
Republic where three (Anabaptist, Hutterite) communities
took shape in the 1530s.
The BBC aired a nice
one hour show in March 2013 about the Hutterites.
You might be able to search the Internet and find a way to
watch the show. Here
are some nice photos by a fellow from the BBC
show. Compared to the colony in the video, Elmendorf
(see links below) eats their meals together as families and
seems much more happy in many ways.
We had some discussion of the community aspects of the 28
Feb. 2012 two hour PBS documentary "The Amish": www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/amish/
Note: The entire show is now available for online
We then contrasted the Amish with the Hutterites who live
with the latest technology but with similar community goals: www.Hutterites.org
For one such example, the Amish limit their access to
automobiles to help keep their communities together.
While the Hutterites have nice automobiles, they have
"extended family household rules" that accomplish the same
goals as the Amish.
"The Amish" documentary
includes coverage of the Amish school shooting in 2006.
A "Forgiveness Seminar" related to the shooting was held in
2010 at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. The
seminar ended up as a 1.5 hour dialog. An audio
recording is available (privately) to those who request it. We
hope to have a transcription available soon. April
2010 Forgiveness Seminar Flyer
The BBC released a nice one hour documentary "A Secret Life"
about an Amish family back in August 2012. You can find
more information and comments here.
I hope to add some of my own comments on several issues
(baptism, breaking the ordnung) here soon.
I would like to have a nice loving relationship with Amish
(I've been able to do that some (Sept. 2013 through Oct. 2014,
starting again in 2017) with the New
Order Amish in Belle
Center, Ohio). An acquaintance (John Schmid) has a
loving relationship as discussed in this
This web site currently consists of a few personal notes of
Paul Breneman (written in the first-person) but more
importantly it contains links to other resources that I have
Note: From July 2010
through December 2014 I lived near or in Lawrence, Kansas much
of that time. The rest of this paragraph was written
during that time. The Lord has opened many "doors" in the past
several years in Lawrence,
Kansas where I attend Lawrence
Bible Chapel. There was an associated large campus
ministry (community) back in the mid 70s (near KU)
and some folks involved with that still have a lot of close
community. Every summer they have a 5-day "Bible Camp"
for children from 8 am to 8 pm with 3 full meals. So it
is like the children are going away to camp except they go
home every evening to sleep. They also have a nice
"Kid's Club" ministry every Thursday evening with many of the
same children, many of which are from a working-class
neighborhood (Overland Drive) right next to the church
building. The "doors" have opened for me to rent in that
neighborhood. I pray that we (and others) can serve each
other and also the neighborhood. I also attend Kidron
Valley occasionally. I've also been very blessed in Lawrence to meet
young people who have lived in Christian community during the
past six years or who know people presently doing it.
I did enjoy living in New
Ulm, Minnesota the first half of 2015, and Columbus,
Ohio the last half of 2015. In Columbus I lived here
where for five years in the past I had an office in the
underground mall right across the hall from a great Chinese
restaurant. In Columbus I attended Indianola
Church of Christ and helped out with their Finals
Dinners early in December when the fall semester of school was
I spent 2016 living in Lawrence, Kansas. Since early 2017
I've lived in Bellefontaine, Ohio attending Covenant
Fellowship. Starting in June 2017 I have an office here,
across the hall from a
great cafe (history does repeat itself)!
The example of those who went before us
Read about the Moravians in this online book by Peter Hoover:
Behold the Lamb! (The
Story of the Moravian Church). Especially read about
their community life in chapters 9 - 17.
Some Christian Communities
Marcon, France: Community
of Courtiron Anabaptists (page down)
- I spent most of May 2009 at this community and you can read
my diary about my visit. Note:
My diary includes an invitation from the community with
information on housing and jobs. You might also want to
read some of the community's blog:
- Also see this related page: Books
Minnesota, USA - Elmendorf
- Part of my spiritual family and where I lived for seven
months in 2003 and several months since then.
New! - Elmendorf has started a new community (named
Grand River) that is near the town of Jamesport in northern
Missouri, USA. This is a two hour drive from Lawrence,
Kansas where I live.
Minnesota, USA - Altona
- Part of my spiritual family and where I lived for several
weeks in 2015.
Tasmania, Australia: Rocky
Lloydminster, SK, Canada: Fort
Pitt Christian Community
New! You can listen to various messages by men
living at the above communities:
Peter Hoover (Rocky Cape): Behold
Dean Taylor (Altona): Debate
on "It's Just War -- Should Christians Fight?"
Dean Taylor (Altona) and Reuben Walter (Fort Pitt): AIC
Other resources and items of interest
A great article by Charles Moore: Beyond
Argument - The powerful witness of community
Another article by Charles Moore: Doing
Life Together (also here)
Several good articles on Living
in Christian Community
It has been exciting to read some of what a group of believers
in Grand Rapids are experiencing since moving within 3
or 4 blocks of each other in the summer of 2005. To me this
presents a good picture of a how a city community can interact
amongst themselves and also with others in the neighborhood.
Here are two exciting blog articles:
the Kingdom of God
Life in the Kingdom of God, PART 2
We Live in Community, a nice introductory article
from Plough Publishing House.
Two ministries at Ohio State to check out: OSU
House of Prayer & International
Fountain Creek, a vision for
brethren living in community, by Michael Hari.
A summary of my vision of
intentional Christian community (rural and city).
Seeking contact with others?
Find Radical Christian Fellowship at Scroll
Some of my other web pages:
Spreading God's Word
at various universities
Behold The Lamb!
(The Story of the Moravian Church of the 1700s)
Gospel Jam Sessions
Please contact me (community helper - not leader) if you know
about other resources similar to those already on this page.
PO Box 399
Bellefontaine, OH 43311 USA