What is Urban Monasticism

Being present with God, and others through simple monastic rhythms in everyday life. Rhythms that help us reconnect with God, the cities we live in, and live more holistic lives.

Our modern world is complex, full, and demanding. Without commitment to regular rhythms we become passengers in our own lives. Urban Monasticism is a way of living that focuses on inviting Jesus into the small choices we make each day. In community with God we come to know ourselves. With each small step we can become the person God hopes we will be. A rhythm of practices help us actively live our life with Jesus in the center. Historic practices of faith bringing depth to our relationship with God, connection with neighbors, and transformation of self. This is a way to live an active faith in the middle of work and life in the city. We are a group of ecumenical Christian of ministers, leaders, and everyday Christians living in urban areas.

Core Values

Monastic

Within a monastic community each person must attend to work of both faith and vocation. Both tasks are spiritual. Each person would provide work that makes money to maintain the community. With a similar spirit each urban monastic should work to provide for themself. The practices and disciplines of faith help us to work well at our vocation. They keep our hearts focused on the kingdom of heaven while working in kingdoms that fade. Together we commit to a way of life – a rule – which we pursue with grace and humility together. This way of life allows us to be more present with God in our daily lives.

Urban

The movement of vocation into cities reshaped the way people live and work. We now find the vast majority of work opportunities in large urban centers. God is incarnate in the world, and the Holy Spirit dwells within us and others. To work and live within the city is to be in the midst of people God loves. For those of us called to the city together we commit to rhythms and practices. That in the midst of city life we do not lose our focus on the Kingdom of Heaven.

Ecumenical

Together we have no commitment to one christian tradition we are open and accepting of all who love Jesus. Embracing and rediscovering our shared Christian monastic history. Our rule does not call for communal living, poverty, or chastity as many orders do. We do share a deep commitment to rediscover the practices that sustained our monastic siblings from the early days of the church. Urban Monasticism is cenobitic, and practiced in the neighborhoods in which we live. No matter how far or close you feel to Jesus today, you are welcome to join us.


Core Beliefs

In alignment with our intentional ecumenical vision we have chosen to express our belief in Jesus though our affirmation of the Nicene Creed (from the First Council of Constantinople with the Filioque clause). On all other points we choose a posture of grace, and understanding. It is included below.

We believe in one God,
     the Father, the Almighty,
     maker of heaven and earth,
     of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
     the only Son of God,
     eternally begotten of the Father,
     God from God, Light from Light,
     true God from true God,
     begotten, not made,
     of one Being with the Father;
     through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
     he came down from heaven,
     was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary
     and became truly human.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
     he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
     in accordance with the Scriptures;
     he ascended into heaven
     and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
     and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
     who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
     who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified,
     who has spoken through the prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
     and the life of the world to come.
Amen

Founders

Photo of Paul Prins

Paul Prins

I’m trying to live an honest, holistic, and integrated life in Paris, France. I believe the way we live flows out of the deep well of what we believe and value. During the past 15 years I’ve ministered in various contexts and now am leading a missional initiative through Communitas International in Paris. For over two decades I have been a software engineer, continue to run a software company helping nonprofits, and have a Masters of Divinity from Bethel Seminary. I enjoy teaching, preaching, and creating art. Monastic practices like fasting and the prayers help ground me in my faith, and inspire me to be actively present with God throughout my days. Since 2016 I have felt God drawing me to helping found Urban Monasticism.

Photo of Jordan Prins

Jordan Prins

I’m committed to restoration in relationships, community, and creation in Paris, France. I lead a missional initiative through Communitas International in Paris building up to a new church in our neighborhood. For more than 15 years I have been involved in various forms of ministry from churches to campus outreach. I am at my best when expressing from a place of empathy, hospitality, restoration, and artistic creativity. My desire to live an integrated life has drawn me to helping found urban monasticism. My relationships, life, and work benefit from weaving traditional monastic practices within my day and having a public commitment to guide me.

Sheila Whittenberg

I’m a contemplative, artist and advocate for children in Berlin, Germany. Through Communitas International, the FeG, and Berlinprojekt, I minister to children. I’m also a Godly Play Trainer with Godly Play Germany. Monastic practices have become central in deepening my own faith as well as enriching my artistic practice and accompanying children in their spiritual formation. I am committed to embracing all that God and life have to offer with open hands.