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PCOM is located in Mission Viejo, a master-planned community in Orange County, CA. Designed around the aspirations of families, Mission Viejo mirrors the success oriented, pressure-filled lifestyle of the larger area. Goods and services are highly accessible, allowing people of different generations to shop for what they want and keep undesirable elements at bay. This has resulted in generations functioning separately from each other. This paper addresses the challenge of uniting generations at PCOM through both spiritual and community formation.
The purpose of this project is to create community at PCOM where, despite generational differences, people will find common identity through a rule that encourages shared response to the Holy Spirit. To achieve this purpose, a pilot project will include teaching on generational differences and the Holy Spirit’s connection to unity. Participants in intergenerational small groups will be introduced to the Benedictine practices of lectio divina, fixed hour prayer, and hospitality.
Part One examines the community surrounding PCOM, as well as the character of the church’s ministry. Attention will be given to the impact of other large churches and the area’s growing diversity. Community values will be examined as reflected through consumption habits and local by-laws. This section will describe the culture of PCOM, with attention to the historical development of generational separation.
Part Two establishes the theological foundation for the project. It begins with a discussion of relevant source material, especially The Rule of St. Benedict. An examination of historical and current Reformed ecclesiology will reveal emphases that aid the project, as well as deficiencies corrected through missional church understandings. A theology of spiritual and community formation as responses to God’s initiative will be developed. Philippians 2:1-2 and Ephesians 4:1-6 reveal the importance of communal attentiveness to the Holy Spirit in creating unity. Benedictine practices will be examined as a way of maintaining this kind of attentiveness.
Part Three focuses on creating a pilot project supported by the theological foundation. This project will allow generations at PCOM to understand their differences, understand the role of the Holy Spirit in creating unity, encounter the Holy Spirit with those of other generations through Benedictine practices, and encounter each other in new ways. The pilot project will provide structure, resources, leadership and assessment.
Benedict; Saint, Abbot of Monte Cassino; Presbyterian Church of the Master (Mission Viejo, Calif.); Lectio divina; Intergenerational relations; Hospitality
Missions and World Christianity
Material is subject to copyright.
Clelland, Jackson, "Creating Unity Among Generations at Presbyterian Church of the Master Through Adapted Benedictine Practices" (2015). Doctor of Ministry Projects. 195.