Communal living: knowing and being known

As I am considering community housing with our sister church and I have been asked to reflect on questions that have been raised during this preparatory and transitional time.  I am thankful for the opportunity to start this new adventure.

I am interested in pursuing community housing at Iglesia (which is not yet the approved name of the church, because although they have verbally agreed, the official vote will not be until late August) because it is the embodiment of partnership in ministry.  With one or more persons from our Church of All Nations (CAN) and one or more persons from Iglesia living and working together, I see a more fruitful and healthy way of living into Christ’s body (i.e. the church).  Mainly, I see myself as a pastor, shepherd, abbot, who ministers out of daily life.  I see housing at Iglesia as a way I may model, lead, and embody discipleship of Jesus Christ for whoever lives with me.  Taking responsibility for another person as they live and breathe is something I see myself practicing as I take part in this venture.

I am most excited about the possibility that this partnership will be a cornerstone for intentional community housing in this thriving and active part of the Twin Cities.  We have many community houses near CAN, but this would create another hub of committed disciples who would like to seek another way of life together in the day-to-day.  With regards to young people in our ministries, there has always been an interest towards city living and the exchange of ideas and cultures that happens at a faster pace than life in the suburbs.  This is evident in the way I see many of our young adults, as well as youth, living, working, and recreating in Uptown, Lake Street and various parts of Minneapolis.  I know by me living in Iglesia, this would allow me to be modeling, speaking, and teaching to our young people who are the most conflicted about being in the world but not being a part of it.

One of challenges I foresee has to do with me getting to deeply know the members of Iglesia, its constituency of renters and those who live in the neighborhood.  I am somewhat familiar with those who are interested in the community housing offered at Iglesia, and have faith and confidence that our partnership will be fruitful from the beginning.  However, even with the community garden service where I have gotten to know some elders and members of Iglesia, I see that it will take time to get to know the rest of the congregation and those who interact with Iglesia.  As with any new beginnings, there will be a time to get to know one another, and also a time to get “used” to one another, which will take a bit more intentionality and time.  Much like a missionary to South Minneapolis, I see that my learning curve will be steep as I become familiar with the history, politics, and language of daily life in the city and its surroundings.

The biggest need I have with the church is to address the expectations surrounding my being a part of the Iglesia community.  It is with great gratitude I will live and mentor those who are a part of the intentional community facilitated by Iglesia.  However, as with other ministries, this opportunity will not be rigid but fluid in nature.  We, as residence and caretakers of the building and people, will maintain a structure for gatherings (morning prayers, evening check-ins, work days) as well as facilitate hospitality for all who enter into the doors of Iglesia.  This means making the space of Iglesia tidy (cleaning up and putting rooms back into order), accessible (doors unlocked, snow shoveled), and safe (doors locked, outdoor light kept on overnight). We are grateful to be a part of the community, so with gladness we do take on these responsibilities. 

kc kye

KC Kye is currently serving as an intern for the Presbyterian Multicultural Network for the PCUSA.  He also directs the youth at Church of All Nations, serves on the Presbyterian Cross Cultural Young Adult Network, and loves to do anything outdoors.

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