Via Jesus Manifesto

Last week, thecommonroot.org was launched. The Common Root is a network for communities committed to Jesus’ radical way of shalom. This network used to be called “Submergent,” but we changed the name for a couple reasons. First, folks kept assuming that we were a sub-group of Emergent for Anabaptists. Secondly, the name didn’t convey the “vibe” we were looking for.

We are called “Common Root” because, together, we are rooted in the life of Christ. The word “radical” comes from the Latin word “radix” which means “root.” A radical movement is one that seeks to challenge the status quo by seeking change by getting to the root of the issue. This movement is made up of denominational Anabaptists (like Mennonites, Brethren in Christ, and Church of the Brethren), neo-Anabaptists, peace-minded liberationists, Catholic Workers, and other theological exiles and refugees. We aim to be a diverse mix of people whose common “root” is the radical way of Jesus Christ lived out in a post-Christian, post-colonial world where the Church is slipping into the margins and is, we hope, able to regain its prophetic voice.

These our our convictions:

  1. The way of Jesus is nonviolent at its core.
  2. Jesus calls communities to continue in the way of life he set for us.
  3. The way of Jesus is prophetic, creative, and dynamic.
  4. The Spirit of Jesus is stirring a creative, prophetic church that resists Empire wherever it is found.
  5. Repenting of our desire for power and control, our movement embraces the diverse groups of people that share in these convictions.

In these violent days, the Spirit is stirring a prophetic, nonviolent movement of communities committed to embracing the way of Jesus in creative and sustainable ways. In light of this, these are our current aims:

  • Connecting communities committed to our convictions.
  • Providing resources for peacemaking, hospitality, simplicity, prayer, and mission.
  • Fostering new communities that creatively embody Christ in their context. In particular, we want to foster new intentional communities, neighborhood-based communities, and other alternative church expressions.
  • We want to tell the stories of faithful individuals and communities that exemplify the way of Jesus in the shadow of empire.

If the Common Root seems like something you want to be a part of, consider yourself invited.

If you are interested in starting a new community (church, intentional community, etc.) that shares in the convictions outlined above, please go here and make contact. We’re currently working on a gathering in February for those interested in being a part of a new planting initiative being supported by the Mennonites (which doesn’t require you to become Mennonite).