Magazine article Anglican Journal

Intentional Community to Open in Vancouver

Magazine article Anglican Journal

Intentional Community to Open in Vancouver

Article excerpt

A Vancouver rectory is set to become one of the newest of a number of intentional communities recently planned or launched by Anglicans in Canada.

This September, St. Margaret's Cedar Cottage, an Anglican church in East Vancouver, will launch its first 11-month program at Hineni House, a small spiritual community intended for young adults.

A goal of the program is to encourage an "open spirituality," and applicants don't need to be Anglican or even believe in God at all to be accepted, says program director Anita Laura Fonseca. The hope, above all, is that the program will enable Hineni House members to discern their vocation, whether that is conceptualized in religious terms or not.

"Even though we are a faith community and spiritual practices will be a part of it... if people come from no faith and consider themselves to be atheists, for example, we would use the resources that we have to help them in their discernment journey, which doesn't necessarily have to be a spiritual journey," she says.

The idea for Hineni House arose about five years ago, Fonseca says, when St. Margaret's Cedar Cottage was pondering what to do with its rectory. Eventually the parish settled on a discernment program for people in the 18-30 age range, partly inspired by the Episcopal Service Corps, a network of intentional communities for young adults that is affiliated with The Episcopal Church.

"That just seemed to work perfectly with what the church wants to offer," she says.

In support of the project, St. Margaret's Cedar Cottage received a grant of $10,000 from the Anglican Foundation for youth leadership development projects, says Anglican Foundation executive administrator Scott Brubacher."This project of intentional communal living, service to the community and spiritual discernment, fit with the mandate," he says.

Up to five participants will stay at Hineni House each year. Alongside their regular work or studies, residents will follow a program of discernment and conflict resolution, including retreats and workshops, with Hineni House's spiritual directors, psychological counsellors and mentors. The cost of $700 includes rent, Internet and all programming, counselling and retreats.

Hineni House will join a number of new Anglican-originated intentional communities for young people in Canada. In 2014, the parish of Christ Church in Edmonton and the diocese of Edmonton jointly launched Ascension House, a six-person community for people 18-25. The Companions on the Way program, an initiative of the Sisters of St. …

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