Ministry at Emery House

We are excited to announce that, after several years of prayerful discernment, the community has made the decision to revive our ministry at Emery House. As a first step in that process, a small group of brothers will re-establish a residential community there in January. We anticipate opening our guest ministry at Emery House sometime in the spring of 2023. We will be making an announcement about further steps later in the Fall. We ask for your patience as those details emerge, and for your prayers as we respond to God’s call in West Newbury.

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Please notify me about retreats at the Guesthouse or Emery House

Between Christianity and Christendom – Br. Lucas Hall

Br. Lucas Hall

Luke 9:51-62

“Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”[i] This is the line that Jesus gives to a would-be follower. I think this is interesting, because there are three would-be followers in this story today. The next two seem reluctant, and Jesus speaks plainly to them about the need for a total commitment. But this first one is very committed. So is this line, this statement that the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head, what is it? Is it an admonition, in the same way the other two would-be followers are admonished? Is it a lament on Jesus’s part, as in other places in the gospels where he is frustrated by an insistent crowd? Maybe. To me, today, though, this reads more as a warning. An eager (perhaps overeager, starry-eyed, not quite sure what he’s getting himself into) but nevertheless eager would-be follower approaches, proclaiming his devotion, and Jesus sees fit to speak of the constant homelessness, alienation, and inability to rest that comes with this call. It seems meant to be sobering.

And there has long been within the Church a sense of unease at things being too comfortable. If things are going fine, without complication or difficulty, that suggests perhaps we’re not struggling where we need to be. The first few centuries of the Church, this struggle wasn’t difficult to come by. Blood, and tears, and prayer flowed in equal measure. But with the legalization of Christianity in the Roman Empire in the early 300s, much of the Church’s martyrdom, struggle, and witness stopped. Or, rather, it wasn’t obvious where it would come from. It’s long been pointed out that monasticism only rose to prominence in the Church right around this time, right around the time Christians were seeking greater difficulty, intensity, and challenge. The fact that any of us are here right now is in debt to this ancient pursuit of struggle. Read More

The Chapel is Open!!

The chapel now for in-person worship, and private prayer, throughout the day. The doors will open before Morning Prayer and close after Compline (Tuesday – Saturday), and from Morning Prayer to after Evening Prayer on Sundays. You are welcome to join us for in-person worship, or for a time of private prayer. We ask that all who make use of the chapel for private prayer, or who join us for in-person worship, be fully vaccinated, boosted and wear a mask. Extra masks are always available at the back of the church near the organ. A full schedule of services is available here: Worship Schedule