Through The Micah Project, all fellows live in intentional Christian community for ten months. This means fellows share meals and pray together at least a few times each week, and pursue opportunities for study and discernment together. A few times during the year the fellows and project staff enjoy retreats to strengthen community and deepen personal discernment.
In the fall of 2012 Life Together will have 3 intentional community houses, with 20 interns living in community! The houses will be located in Boston and Fall River. The Boston houses are centrally located and accessible by public transportation (the “T”). One of the houses serves as the program headquarters, with offices and training space.
Intentional community is…
By Hazel Johnson | LT Alumni 2012
What is this intentional community stuff Life Together is talking about?
Do I really plan on travelling almost 3,000 miles across the country to live with people I don’t know? These are just a few (among many) of the questions I had when deciding to come to Boston to join Life Together. In Nevada, I had never heard of a program where young adults could live in an intentional Christian community and work on social justice issues. This was a major part of Life Together’s appeal, and also quite possibly a major part of my fear to join. While I enjoyed the idea of working on social justice issues in the greater Boston area, I wasn’t quite sold on the “living with 7 people” part of the deal. You see, as the second oldest in a family with 5 children and with 4 years of college roommate life under my belt, I figured I had already had my fair share of dirty kitchen’s, unreturned pairs of clothes, and loud music until 2am. As I learned more and more about what it meant to live in intentional community, my heart started to open to this idea that it was possible to live with 7 people. My heart opened to the idea that I could share 2 meals a week with my housemates, pray with and for one another in good times and in times of need, and take random trips to cities we had never heard of or been to. My heart not only opened to the idea that I could live with 7 people, but that I could love those 7 people. Now, don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of days where dishes were piled high, clothes were left in the dryer and we just weren’t communicating well with one another, but I could handle it. If you ask anyone that knew me before Life Together, that might have been a different story.
So why was it different?
Coming here and living with 7 complete strangers was so much better than I imagined because I learned a wide range of concrete skills and tools to be able to live in harmony with my 7 wonderful blessings. As a house, we created a list of guidelines for how we would live with one another, respect each other and honor our differences. At first I thought it was strange, but I quickly came to understand the value of having this document. You see, this document was a way of holding us accountable when our 8 different schedules didn’t align so that we could “play” together. When things got so busy that I didn’t see my housemate for 2 days, this document reminded us of our commitment to one another. Living in intentional community isn’t all peaches and cream. But through it all I was able to learn from others and it was a transformative experience for me. I went from dreading coming into a house with 8 people to dreading watching everyone leave. And yes, I would do it again if it meant I could sing my favorite gospel song with Andrew as we carpool to work, dance fearlessly with Katie, share a room and deep conversations with Sofia, compare organizing stories with Sevy, eat delicious Vietnamese food with Amy, enjoy Taize worship with Hannah and bake delicious treats with Julia.
Intentional community doesn’t mean that I have to be best friends with all of my housemates or that I have to change who I am for the sake of the house. Intentional community means the exact opposite for me. In my time living in intentional community, I was as much myself as I had ever been and if something went wrong (which it did) I was able to address the issues with grace and love. And even though I butted heads with my roommates from time to time (that’s bound to happen with 7 different personalities), I was still able to maintain a friendship through the struggle. That is intentional community. You are free to be you, I am free to be me, and we respect each other, If you are lucky like me, you may even learn to love each other.