Introduction

Dear Apostles, friends and associates,

    Life Together is the ‘Rule of Life’ that has been discerned in the Church of the Apostles community. We hope you will receive it with joy and in a spirit of adventure that belongs to the journey of faith.

    Life Together is a description of our community ‘praxis’ (of the kind of life we are seeking to lead in the way of Jesus) rather than a set of beliefs or doctrines, because, as with most catholic Christians, our beliefs are summarized in the ecumenical Nicene Creed.

    At Church of the Apostles we are ‘students of Jesus’, who are being shown and taught how to live his way of being in the world, so that the truth of our faith is expressed less in ‘what’ we believe (concepts, ideas, doctrines) and more centered around ‘whom’ we follow and pattern our lives upon and give our loyalty to. So basically, we are putting front and center the direct call of Jesus, through the Gospels, and in the power of the Spirit to a ‘new way to live’ that Jesus intends for his followers.

    ‘Jesus taught that in his society, there is a new way for people to live: you show wisdom, by trusting people; you handle leadership, by serving. you handle the offender by forgiving; you handle money by sharing; you handle enemies by loving; and you handle violence by suffering...’ (adapted from Douglas John Hall’s 'Thinking the Faith').

    Our Rule contains components outlining our common priorities, a set of practices that outline our common actions, postures that outline our common orientation and virtues that outline our common values.

    Life Together’ is a living Rule, which like a breathable skin provides a supportive structure for our common life as well as freedom of movement from within... with components, practices, postures and virtues gently framing and holding our common purpose to ‘order our days and deeds in God’s peace.’

    We will continue to make adjustments to our Rule as we learn, grow, evolve and develop this new way to live together in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and communion of the Holy Spirit.

~ Karen M. Ward, Founding Abbess, Church of the Apostles, Seattle (Sept 2007)

Rule: Priorities

  • Love God and love neighbors
  • Give invitations and provide welcome
  • Engage community and practice faith
  • Share stories and throw parties
  • Create art and exchange gifts
  • Renew culture and steward creation

Practices: Spirituality & Actions

  • Hospitality
  • Worship
  • Prayer
  • Scripture reflection
  • Tithing
  • Confession
  • Forgiveness
  • Fasting
  • Feasting
  • Discernment
  • Sabbath
  • Pilgrimage

Virtues: Character Traits / Values

  • Generosity - living abundantly
  • Graciousness - living with grace
  • Thankfulness - being a priest, living Eucharist.
  • Humility - the ability to be honest and to learn
  • Accountability - the ability to be responsible for what you do before God and others
  • Compassion - the ability to walk beside
  • Transformation - the capacity to change and grow
  • Obedience - the ability to follow and listen
  • Courage - the capacity to move through fear
  • Faith - the capacity to trust God
  • Hope - the capacity to move forward
  • Love; the capacity to give yourself away

Postures: Approach

  • Presence
  • Openness
  • Mindfulness
  • Expectancy
  • Wonder