Harman Patil

The Simple Way

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Formation  January 1998
Website  www.thesimpleway.org
Purpose  To emulate Jesus
Founder  Shane Claiborne and five other Eastern University graduates
Location  Kensington, Philadelphia

The Simple Way is an intentional community in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Shane Claiborne and five other Eastern University graduates founded the community when they moved into a terraced house in the neighborhood of Kensington in January 1998. They purposely started the community in the poorest area of the city, which was a place where there were no existing local churches. They did not apply for funding from mission agencies. Members of The Simple Way participate in a variety of activities, including planting gardens, running a store, and feeding people who are hungry. When a law was passed that prohibited distribution of food on streets in the city, The Simple Way avoided breaking the new law by instead distributing the Eucharist, which is not considered food after it has been blessed. The community is part of the New Monasticism movement.

Singer-songwriter Dar Williams has been affiliated with the community since 1999, and has held a benefit concert to raise money for it. In his book The Way of Jesus: Re-Forming Spiritual Communities in a Post-Church Age, Toby Jones writes that The Simple Way provides "an authentic, albeit human, look at living the way of Jesus". John Avant writes about The Simple Way in his book If God Were Real: A Journey into a Faith That Matters, calling the community "a pretty incredible group".

References

The Simple Way Wikipedia


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