What Makes Worldview at the Abbey So Great?
What makes Worldview at the Abbey such a great place to live and learn? In short, I think it is the combination of community and thinking hard about how to live the Christian life together. This is how we live out 1 Corinthians 1:10. “I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.”
The community spirit here at the Abbey is well seen by our return from Christmas break. In the daily schedule, there is a 40 minute break between morning devotions and the first class. Often times students use this time to get some last minute things done or get a little more sleep before class. The day after break, however, no one was willing to leave the common room. Everyone was happily catching up with each other and talking about the fun things they did over break. They were so busy catching up, some were almost late to class. The latter is remarkable because the classroom is about 15 feet from the room where we have devotions! The students, staff, and faculty really enjoy getting to know each other and spending time together.
The other element which makes the Abbey special is our work at being perfectly united in mind and thought. Of special interest to us at the Abbey is the process of sanctification, or living out one’s faith. Right now in The Great Conversation class we are reading Piers Plowman, a 14th century work by a Christian man asking the very same questions as us. In the beginning, the character named Holy Church explains the gospel as clearly and articulately as any modern pastor. The main character Will cries out that, although he knows the facts of Christianity, he does not know how to live in light of them. Will later learns from a farmer named Piers (Peter) that doing one’s vocational work, whether it is as a farmer or a knight and providing for those in need are good steps on the journey to sanctification. The students and I get to to learn from the author and talk about how to apply these lessons to our lives. These discussions help us become united in mind and thought by thinking about these basic Christian issues together.
At the Abbey, we get to unite our hearts and minds in the context of Christian community. Although we have differences in every way: age, home state, denomination and gender, we unite to do the work to which Christ has called us; then the students go out and live as Christians in the world. It’s a beautiful thing.