“Love one another as Christ first loved us! Love is who and what we are and the ‘merciful heart’ is our vision. We are the Order of the Shepherd’s Heart, followers of the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ, sharing our very lives with one another as we attempt to live out together the Beatitudes and the Two Great Commandments which our Lord Jesus gave us, to be for us an example of the Christian way of life. We are a community of adults who accept this Rule and the disciplines of our community life freely, as we attempt to become, with each other, more fully human, more fully alive to God’s presence in us, in all other persons, and in his splendid creation. Our Order is not one of brick and mortar but rather of tribal or familial connection that calls us to share with each other the pasture of our lives. Though the Order of the Shepherd’s Heart may have a central gathering location such as an abbey, the continual focus is one of a community without walls or a pasture without fences so that we may truly bring back the wandering.”
~Our Common Rule of Life Chapter 1 Who We Are: Our Vision
It has been our long term goal to build an abbey and live in a self-sustaining intentional community or eco-abbey, as we like to call it, with our brothers and sisters who would seek such a lifestyle in which to live out their calling. It is due to that vision that we have continued to look for land within a suitable geographical area that would meet our various needs and or desires.
We would like to acquire several acres, as many as possible, on which to build an eco-friendly, Christian egalitarian community, based upon our Rule of Common Life – a community that enjoys decision making through consensus and one committed to fostering acceptance, diversity, faith, hope, liberty, justice, peace, and love, all of which are central themes of the Gospel message.
With our eco-abbey, we hope to strive to be a model of sustainable ecological living as well as an example of what it means to be a Christian, following the Prince of Peace in the 21st century. We are committed to nonviolence, egalitarianism, radical diversity, spiritual mysticism, sustainable living, and the breakdown of culturally constructed gender roles.
Many of our members are craftspeople, artisans, writers, teachers, preachers, chaplains, et cetera and currently make a living by their own hands from their own hearts. Being made in the image of the Creator we all feel a strong need to be “little creators” following His example and we hope to cooperatively offer that as a continued financial source of sustainability for our community as a whole.
Some of our specific needs would be: that a portion of the land be suitable for organic farming, that it be located within a 20-30 minute commute to a larger community with labor and service markets, as well as medical facilities. Ideally we would like to be in a parish or county where building codes are either nonexistent or at least friendly toward alternative building materials and structures.
As with most ministries we are funded by donation alone and so we would be blessed to have the land donated to us but outside of the land being donated by a kind patron, we would need either owner financing and or a contract for deed. We’re open to ideas and payments.
If you have land or know someone who does and would like to offer it to us, please feel free to contact us. We welcome your comments, questions, suggestions, support, and most assuredly your prayers.
We believe very strongly that where God guides, He provides, and we wait on that provision as we continue to serve Him by serving His people.