One of the comments that we often hear from our guests is, ‘It’s like heaven here!’ And alongside it,‘but isn’t it escapism from the real world?’ To which a community member will smile and offer the assurance that, whilst we live in a beautiful corner of North Devon, the real world is still very present here!
As an international Christian Community we all bring our unique life experiences, culture, faith journey, scars and wounds with us – areas that God will gently over time deal with us about and heal. We commit to being intentional about discipleship – following Jesus more closely and allowing him to mould us into his likeness and image. Our Community promises shape our thinking and actions. We ‘affirm our faith in Christ and our desire through prayer, study and service to seek a deep and mature faith’, and we recognise that in seeking a deeper faith, that ‘our mind, time, talents, possessions and all our relationships are to be increasingly surrendered to Christ as Lord’. It’s a daily individual decision for all of us, but also a corporate discipline. As we gather for prayer twice a day in the chapel at 8.00am and 2.00pm, we open ourselves up to being changed by God through scripture and prayer, and reflecting on our life together. Is there anyone we need to forgive? How are we responding under pressure? And are we fully trusting God in every area of our life. Our Community promises call us to be intentional about going deeper with God.
As a Community we offer our lives to God as ‘living sacrifices’ each day, praying that we will be faithful in serving him, (our guests and one another), and that we won’t crawl off the altar!
“Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out” (Romans 12: 1-2, The Message)
Revd Chantal Mason