Missional Community and Geographic Proximity

Ok, I officially have geography envy.

“We’re going to carry the soup over to the hall. Can you grab that pot?”

It is nearly time for the Love Feast, the weekly dinner the Stockbridge Boiler Room puts on for 60-100 of its neighbors. Tonight’s menu? Soup, salad, bread, and all sorts of yummy pies. The soup has been simmering all afternoon in massive pots on the Boiler Room stove.

How are we going to transport it without it getting cold? That’s what I want to know. We grab the soup, step out the front door.

And then, moments later, step into the hall 2 doors down.


2 doors down!

I’m amazed at the geographic proximity they have cultivated here in this prayer community. First there is the Boiler room, with its office, kitchen, meeting room, housing for interns, and prayer garage out back, which is accessible 24-7 with a key code box on the door. Then across the alleyway, is the home of the Colliers, one of the elder families of the community. A block away is the home of the Coopers, who are the other elders. And the meeting hall for Love Feast? Two doors down. Other members of the community live just short walks away as well.

After the Love Feast, Hannah and the Boiler Room Vision student, Michelle, came home to find some local girls sitting on the front steps of the Boiler Room, waiting for them to come out and play. What a loving witness to this community!


One of the 12 Marks of New Monasticism is geographical proximity to community members who share a common rule of life. And these guys in Grand Rapids have it in spades! It’s exciting to experience what kind of community this geographic proximity can create.

Anybody wanna move to Greenaway Ave? I’ve got my eyes on a rooming house around the corner from us. It’s a little rough right now, but the landlord is working on it, and I can envision it being wonderful overflow housing for members of our community. And it has a massive garage/shed in the back…..


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