What is a Rule of Life?
A Rule of Life is a practical guide for your spiritual life. It is a way of providing personal and communal accountability to spiritual and practical disciplines that help us to grow and mature. When we share a common Rule, we have companions in our spiritual journey who can encourage us and lovingly hold up mirrors to each other when the going gets tough. This spiritual community pushes us all to grow into closer union with the Holy Trinity. Residential Interns agree to live by this common rule of life.
Below is the 2016-2017 version of the Columba House Rule. Summer interns follow a slightly modified version of this Rule during their abbreviated terms. The final 2017-2018 revision of the Rule will become available in the Spring of 2017. Applicants can expect the revisions to be minor.
The Columba House 2016-2017 Residential Rule of Life
At Columba House we cultivate young adults to become disciples and leaders in the Episcopal Church and “to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ” (The Book of Common Prayer, p. 855).
Becoming Disciples and Leaders
“So those who welcomed [Peter’s] message were baptized … They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” (Acts 2:41a, 42)
Becoming a mature disciple and leader means taking responsibility for your spiritual life, and accepting God’s grace as offered in the community and traditions of the Church. In intentional community, this means following a simple rule of life helps us to love one another while growing in virtue and moderation.
- To pray the Daily Office together as a house (Psalm 119:147-148).
- To be part of a worshiping community outside the house.
- To eat daily communal meals together.
- To practice generosity with common spaces, and respect all residents’ share in the House (Acts 2:44-45). To refrain from overusing the words, “my” and “mine” and get in the habit of saying, “we” and “our.”
- To participate in all CH-sponsored events and programs.
- To hold a 1-2 hour House Meeting once per week that is dedicated to (A) caring for one another and developing friendships, (B) distributing chore assignments and following up on their completion, (C) coordinating schedules, (D) clarifying thought, particularly related to CH’s vision and activity, and (E) resolving conflicts.
- To keep a Sabbath day of rest once each week (Hebrews 4:9-11).
- To keep the House quiet and closed to visitors at least one day per week.
- To seek to develop friendships with those who attend CH events and their churches and invite others to participate in formal and informal CH gatherings. To engage with at least one young adult community in the greater Savannah area on a regular basis (Acts 1:8).
We encourage Interns:
- To choose a spiritual director as soon as possible and meet together every four to six weeks.
Restoring Our Unity in Christ
“We love because [God] first loved us. Those who say, ‘I love God,’ and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.” (1 John 4:19-21)
Doing justice begins in the house and extends to the surrounding neighborhood. We must learn to treat our closest companions with kindness, humility, and love in order to behave that way toward strangers.
- To actively seek reconciliation with other residents and be prepared to forgive (Matthew 18:15-22).
- To welcome all people to CH events, without discriminating on account of race, sex, gender identity, ethnicity, sexual orientation, sexual preference, physical ability, religious beliefs, economic status, citizenship status, etc. (Matthew 7:1-5; Hebrews 13:2).
- To develop a rotation of chores so that the common areas stay clean and manageable.
- To share the responsibility for buying common groceries, cooking and cleaning up after meals.
- To dedicate one bedroom to Christ, whom we meet in the stranger and traveler (Matthew 25:31-46). Through this “Christ Room,” CH can practice hospitality to residents’ friends and family, parish and/or diocesan guests, and others.
- To refrain from drunkenness and the use of illegal drugs, to refrain from smoking and tobacco use inside the house (1 Peter 5:8-9a).
- To retain high expectations for themselves and for those with whom they have committed to live.
- To participate together in at least one volunteer activity every two months that is aimed at enacting justice in the community.
- To come to a consensus about visiting hours and other hospitality arrangements and stick to those commitments. To introduce new and/or regular visitors to all housemates.
- To abstain from sexual relations for the duration of their internships.
- To avoid accumulating possessions in the common areas and other spaces outside the resident’s bedroom.
- To fully engage the expectations of the Diocesan leadership and supervisors. Living in community is full time work.
We encourage Interns:
- To practice the Rite of Reconciliation (Confession) on a monthly basis (James 5:16).
- To practice a simple lifestyle by avoiding “luxury items” (Hebrews 13:5).
To learn more about applying to the 2017-2018 Columba House Savannah Residential Internship Program, click here.