Missio Dei in need of help

Missio Dei is a Christian community on the West Bank of Minneapolis, in the vein of what could be called “neo-monasticism”. The community seeks to live out the way of Jesus according to the principles of simplicity, prayer, and hospitality in an ethnically diverse part of Minneapolis, the most densely populated square mile between Chicago and Los Angeles, where over 2/3 of the population is low-income or below the poverty line. Community members live in one of two houses, one of which was recently served an eviction notice by the city of Minneapolis.

The lowdown on the situation, as told to me by community founder Mark van Steenwyk:

Minneapolis served an eviction notice to Clare House (the missio dei owned community house) over our failure to obtain a rental license. Basically, we don’t need (nor want) a rental license because it could potentially restrain our mission (among others things, it could make it illegal for us to discriminate…as well as make it harder for us to get any variances on housing usage). The city has been very unhelpful to tell us any of our options, even though there are other ministry houses and religious orders that don’t have rental licenses. We’ve refused to get a license as we sought the same status that these other communities have.

We’ve been trying to get legal help, but nothing has really turned up yet. We’re thinking that we’ll just have to settle up with the city before we can proceed. That may be costly. Alternately, legal help may also be costly.

Please pray for us. If you have any strings, please pull them. If you are able to help in any way, please let us know. This could be a SERIOUS blow to Missio Dei.

I have been acquainted with Mark for a couple of years through various networks related to common interests, and I have met few people who are as dedicated to making Christ known in post-modern America. Mark is committed to preaching Jesus in deed as well as word, and to not only developing individual believers but disciples in community who will be the hands and feet of Jesus in the neighborhood. Please join me in praying for Missio Dei in this time of trouble, and if there’s anyone out there who might be able to help or is connected with someone who could, please contact Mark either through the form on the Missio Dei site or by email.

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One Response

  1. Jason —

    It’s such a blessing to meet you! I love your website! I couldn’t agree more with your “Christ-archist” views. “Any authority that does not submit itself to God and seek to operate according to the politics of Jesus is illegitimate.” Exactly! Excellently put!

    I look forward to reading more of your posts when I get the chance. In the meantime, I’ll put “An Absolution Revolution” on my blogroll and send as much traffic that way as I can.

    Regarding your response to “Peaceonomics,” I think you make some great points. I too have struggled with being faithful to the Sermon on the Mount, as Jesus seems to quite clearly condemn retaliation of any sort. I plan to write more about this in the future.

    Anyway, I look forward to continuing our conversation.

    Don Emmerich

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