We are often asked how individuals or couples become members of the community. First, it is important that one be in reasonably good physical, mental and spiritual health and has what it takes to develop in interdependence. One must be a practicing Christian (not a requirement for interns and guests at Koinonia) and possess the emotional maturity to persevere in the challenging, yet rewarding nature of community living.
The first steps —
- Contact us to let us know of your interest. This begins a series of e-mail and phone conversations.
- Should you and we agree that the possibility of membership is worth pursuing, you will be invited to visit. This is an initial time of getting to know one another.
- The next step is to apply to become a candidate for membership. Applicants provide three letters of recommendation from those who are familiar with their spiritual life, maturity, and readiness to become a candidate. Applicants also submit a form that allows Koinonia to conduct a background check. During this period, the candidate is immersed in the daily life of prayer, work, study, service and fellowship meeting regularly with a member designated to work with candidates. The candidacy period is usually three to six months.
At the end of the candidacy period, we encourage you to spend a period of retreat time praying about your experience. In that time, if you feel a sense of belonging and “rightness,” you are welcome to petition the community to become a member or members in case of a couple. If accepted, the steps are as follows —
Novitiate (three years). As a novice member, one enters into a time of a comprehensive, gradual integration into the common life through prayer, interaction with the members, spiritual accompaniment by the novice director, solitude, study and participation in our common work.
A novice makes three temporary promises: ongoing conversion, stability and the practice of interdependence.
- Ongoing conversion is a promise to pursue and be open to a continual change of soul and a daily reshaping of the mind and heart. It calls one to an ongoing deepening of her/his life in Christ.
- Stability is a promise to persevere in this ongoing conversion in this particular community.
- Interdependence is the promise to listen — out of love — to someone other than self. This practice leads one from the individualism of the secular culture to a life lived with and for others.
Upon completion of the novitiate, one may be welcomed as a covenanted member.
Covenanted Members vow to live out the promises and the covenants with fellow members at Koinonia Farm for the long haul or as far as the eye can see. One promises faithfulness with no end in sight to God and God’s people through this place called Koinonia Farm. Covenanted members renew their vows every three years.