Postulancy : A Guide for Spiritual Directors

 

Postulancy is the first step toward entering into Membership in The Order of Sustainable Faith.

Postulancy is open to anyone, at any phase of their life journey, whether considering life with Jesus, beginning vocational discernment, seeking clarification at midlife, or even retirement from professional life. Regardless of where the conversation is beginning, postulancy is a non-residential requirement to discern one’s intention toward becoming a member of The Order of Sustainable Faith.

 

You can learn more about the process using the button below:

It is important for the director and the postulant to stay open in this process even if they think they know what is best. We seek in this process an openness to paying  attention to what the Holy Spirit is saying. Discernment is aided when we do not care as much about our external states of life, but utilize whatever state we are in as a means to realize our God’s leading.

Postulancy consists of meeting with a spiritual director on a monthly basis while exploring the commitments found in the Rule of Life for The Order of Sustainable Faith. These commitments are explored in prayer and conversation within a Postulancy Cohort. This cohort meets twice a month. The rule of life will be the basis for the prayer relationship between the postulant and the spiritual director.  The director must keep in mind that these commitments are vehicles for the postulant to pay attention to what the Holy Spirit is speaking in regarding the postulant's sense of God's invitation to him/her.

The rule of life, rooted in both Benedictine & Ignatian spirituality, consists of commitments  of interiority, solidarity, and hospitality. These commitments are meant to be adaptable in order to serve both in the work of discernment and formation. Since everything in the world is to help us move toward our well-being, if a particular commitment helps obtain that goal—keep doing it; if it doesn’t, we adapt it in such a way that it does help.

 

Commitments

Interiority: Disciplines (commitments) of interiority are meant to prepare the postulant to receive God and others in their daily life.

  • Silence & Solitude: Areas to reflect in regards to silence include, bodily labor, daily prayer rhythm (including examine prayer each noonday and before bed), study, and rest.

  • Simplicity: Postulants need to discern how to utilize clothing, food, possessions, and technology as a means to growing in Christ-likeness, rather than allow them to be obstacles to growth.

 

Solidarity: Disciplines of solidarity cultivate a social conscience of how our lives affect the greater community of creation, they include:

  • Poverty: Postulants will consider a voluntary season of poverty or a consideration of what one has and keeps and how those possessions might serve their missional life, or prevent it.

  • Chastity: Postulants are to utilize their state of singleness or marriage to allow God to speak through whichever state they are in.

 

Hospitality: Disciplines of hospitality cultivate an opportunity to share in the life of a community and speak into the practitioner’s vocational identity, limitations, and giftedness. Areas to consider are:

  • Shared labor                           

  • Personal resources                                                           

  • Active Prayer for others

  • Works of Justice and Mercy

  • Sharing of faults/affirmations in a community building way

Discernment: Postulants will begin development of a discerning community, and, with the help of a spiritual director, attend to any resistance that might rise up in opening one’s life in vulnerability.

  • Spiritual Direction: Postulants meet monthly with a spiritual director

  • Examen Prayer: Postulants utilize this prayer, ideally at mid-day and before bed each day.

  • Discerning Community: Postulants lay groundwork toward developing a group of friends that can listen to The Lord on behalf of the postulant, specifically to help determine one’s ongoing desire for vocational membership in The Order.

 

Postulancy ends after 6 months. At this time, if the postulant desires to continue to move forward toward membership, the postulant will make a commitment to the novitiate experience which lasts an additional 12-18 months.

 
 

 

Membership

Our Non-Residential Membership is modeled after the mendicant orders, allowing you to live out a set of commitments in the context of your current location. We’ll pair you with a spiritual director and help nurture the conversation.

Our Residential Membership seeks to plant intentional communities in both rural and urban contexts. With a commitment to the work of sustainable agriculture, we invite you into a rhythm of life that includes work, study, bodily labor, and sabbath. Monastic communities have always lived in a way that consciously provides a critique of the dominant culture. We think a season of slowing down & growing food from the ground up does something deep and lasting to people. 

 

Non-Residential Membership

Each member of The Order of Sustainable Faith begins with postulancy, a six-month period to review the Invitations & Commitments, a Rule of Life for the The Order. Non-Residential Members will meet with a spiritual director to help discern a more extended commitment of 1-year beyond postulancy. This additional year, which we call The Novitiate Experience serves to deepen one's understanding of the commitments, as well as one's own self-understanding and motivations for seeking membership in The Order. 

At the heart of the Non-Residential Membership is the willingness to be where you are– in your city, in your home– and to more intentionally create space for the contemplative and active life. 

At some point as a non-residential member, you will be encouraged to participate in a 12-month mission somewhere in the world. We want to be mobile in our desire to follow God's leading, wherever that may be. 

Residential Membership

Beyond postulancy, some members may choose to move to our residential location. We are currently in the process of planting a missional monastic and church community on the west side of Columbus, OH in a neighborhood called Franklinton. 

At the heart of the Residential Membership is the desire for stability and deepening of one's faith. We think that bodily labor, a rhythm of work and rest, and work that engages the land, is formative in ways that nothing else is. We invite members to consider living in community for a period of 1-5 years to help transition from one season of life, to another. 

 

AN INVITATION FOR MEMBERSHIP

To request an invitation to consider membership in The Order of Sustainable Faith please let us know below. We'll follow up and begin conversation as soon as we are able. 

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