What am I doing?
And how did I end up in East LA?
I'm sitting in an internet cafe waiting to hear back from Innerchange to hopefully meet up with some of them and hear what work God is and has been doing in the area... Hopefully hear a little about how they are making community work in los angeles.
I woke up this morning in the driveway of (one of) Restore LA's houses and asked myself again, What am I DOING?
Like, to just roll up on people with a camera and ask em whats up? I was feeling really uncertain and unconfident when last night I was listen to a sermon off a podcast in my truck as the vegetable oil was being filtered. It was a good reminder of who my audience is. Here I was feeling all uncomfortable and anxious about walkin up to strangers and asking them about intentional community and neo monasticism and a whole bunch of stuff that I really don't know anything about! But I was reminded that my only audience ever is my creator and all He asks me to do is my best in a spirit of peace and love. He supports me and works for my benefit. I felt empowered.
This all wasn't even going to be happening until 2 weeks ago when I told a friend in San Diego that this was a dream of mine, to visit intentional communities as I drove back home from an already insane adventure. Her response was in action and a day later we had an intro video created and bang, next thing I know I'm headed northbound on the I-5 headed for Boyle Heights. Huh...
New Monasticism was introduced to me through an article I read in some Canadian christian newspaper my mom had sitting on the coffee table. I must have been in grade 11 or so... there I see the simple way in philly being profiled and I remember thinking dang, thats pretty cool... Since then I have done a fair bit of reading on what is going in America and that led me to seek deeper into intentional faith, intentional community building... Jonothan Wilson-Hartgrove's book "Follow Me" was an excellent introduction into the history of intentionality, both institutional and lay. It is that distinction, that difference, between traditional monasticism and lay intentional community that I feel intrigued by... I don't even know how to articulate what I feel...
Point is, I feel like I have much to learn from traditional monasticism and I want to learn how to live a more monastic lifestyle, an intentional lifestyle but I want to do that without living in a cloister and leading an interior life. I want to be out on the streets shakkin society up!
I feel it is important to know where we are coming from, what is going on, and in what direction we are headed.
So, with this whole video project thing I am trying to throw together I am going to try and introduce the viewer to intentional community within its historical context, starting with the first christians in Jerusalem and briefly following lay intentionality throughout the past 2000 years to the present.
Cool huh? well... I think so at least.
So, allow me to introduce myself a little further to anyone who might be interested:
My name is Kristoff Maier. I'm 21.
I grew up going to a Lutheran Church and then later a North American Baptist. My mom is a Catholic school teacher and my father is a theologian teaching New Testament at the Vancouver School of Theology.
About a year ago I quite my job as a plumber in Vancouver BC to head south in search of warm waves and peace and quiet. I wanted to get away from distractions and hectic schedules and sit on the beach in silence, watching the waves, contemplating life. Deep huh? I know... so deep...
Anyways, now I am heading home and I am facing the prospect of staying in one place, one neibghourhood for a substantial amount of time while I finish my plumbing apprenticeship. Dude, I thought to myself, you are going to go nuts being stuck in some suburb somewhere.. your gonna be stifled! There is nothing exciting or radical about working a 9-5 in the suburbs...
but then another voice crept into my head, working a 9-5 in the suburbs CAN be radical if you ask God to make it radical. And I all of a sudden thought about all the awesome people back home I know who love God and feel the same way I do... stifled, bored, complacent... So I am hoping that through this project and visiting with communities I can get an idea of how some people are making intentional community work and how to overcome whatever obstacles that might present themselves. Its all so subjective though. We are talking about communities. They are alive and have life. They are made up of individuals that are all unique and hold their own unique world view... so freakin eh, i don't know what I can grasp from different communities... but I guess that is the point... I'm heading to these places to find out for myself. To learn a way of doing life, living a lifestyle, that is counter cultural, life giving, and influencial on its surroundings.
thats pretty rad in my own opinion.
my internet time is running out...
and inner change is just accross the street.
so I am OUT!
Please bare with my grammar and train of thought writing... what I write may not make sense at all... and thats ok...