Founded in the tradition of the Episcopal Church, with a Celtic spirit. Anamchara Fellowship has received canonical recognition by the House of Bishops’ Committee on the Religious Life. We strive to be an inclusive community, welcoming men and women, clergy and lay, married, single, or partners in a committed relationship. Members of the fellowship may live in their own homes or in groups as the ability for that arises. Each member must be self supporting, and we are bound to each other by common ideals and a commitment to prayer and service. Our primary ministries focus on retreats and quiet days, pastoral care, intercessory prayer and spiritual direction.
Each member of the Fellowship in formation will have an Anamchara appointed from among the Professed members, and a spiritual director from outside the Fellowship. To be considered for membership the Aspirant must have been “under direction” for a period of not less than 6 months. All members will have a spiritual director from outside the Fellowship. Provision may be made in special circumstances with the approval of the Abbot/Abbess and Formation Guardian to have a transitional spiritual director from within the Fellowship for a period not exceeding six (6) months.
Life is a journey from birth to death. The Christian’s life is a journey from death to life. An Anamchara, (soul friend or spiritual director) should be one who has the task of being a “cartographer” along the way, mapping our spiritual journey toward holiness.
A soul friend is to be directive and challenging but never judgmental. “You do well to correct. You do not do well to reprove. The mind rebels against reproof. It is humbled at being corrected.”
The modern church has opted to be run by management structures rather than led by saints. Those in the Anamchara Fellowship will seek the consensus model of governance rather than a democratic or hierarchical model.
The Purpose: The members of The Anamchara Fellowship commit to pursue a consecrated life, lived either together in community or singly, yet bound by a common ideal. The Anamchara Fellowship will seek to teach the Faith of Christ by whatever means are at its disposal, and to promote the ministries of teaching, spiritual direction and pastoral care.
The Dedication: We are dedicated to the Holy Trinity, who exemplifies the Anamchara relationship.
“Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy Immortal One, Have mercy upon us.”
The Spirit: The Anamchara Fellowship will be lived in the spirit of Celtic Christianity, by a focus on the Crucified and Risen Christ which leads to inclusivity (seeking to build bridges), generosity, gentleness toward all that God has created, with a sense of being in harmony with all of God’s creation and to have a heart for pilgrimage.
The vows are made to God, in the presence of witnesses, received by the ecclesiastical authority of the member’s denomination. Accountability of each member is ultimately to that authority, to the Fellowship as a whole, and to the member’s personal Anamchara.
The vows of each member of the Anamchara Fellowship will be for the duration of three years. Within the thirty (30) days prior to the third anniversary of the Brother’s/Sister’s vows, that Brother/Sister will write a letter of intent to the Fellowship, stating that they wish to remain in their vows. At the next Annual Gathering, those who have made these intentions will renew their commitment before the Fellowship gathered at some appropriate time. A recommitment to vows should be included in the annual letter to one’s ecclesial authority. (2008)
When a member desires to terminate his/her membership, a written request should be sent to the Fellowship and to the ecclesial authority under whom the member has been accountable. It is recommended that the member endeavor to fulfill the term of their current commitment, if at all possible, before terminating membership in the Fellowship.
Simplicity of Life:
Having no financial recourse to the Fellowship, but within individual means helping to maintain its organizational needs. Seeking to live without a spirit of accumulation.Using all things with gentleness and respect, developing a sense of poverty of spirit, whereby we grasp with heart and mind that ALL belongs to God.
Becoming extravagant with our love and care toward others. “He should never refuse assistance to a person who calls with insistence for it. Let him share generously and without measure with the one who asks.” (Rule of Ailbe)
Fidelity: Living with gentleness of manner toward everyone. Renouncing all physical and verbal control over others. Constancy toward the one with whom God has blessed us as mate or as Anamchara. Consciously striving after peace and mercy for all: “To do justice, to love peace and to walk humbly with God.”
Following the Gospel imperatives of love and forgiveness. Working within the context of the Church to which the member belongs, seeing the leadership and Councils of the Church as guides. Listening for the voice of God in those placed in authority over us.
Daily life should be lived in a spirit of blessing and generosity. To offer a blessing to each person you meet is an “ointment of praise” to God.
As hospitality is a mark of the Celtic tradition, so too will the members of Anamchara Fellowship seek ways to provide hospitality to friend and stranger, according to their means.
It is desirable for members to participate in some ministry of their local congregation of either a pastoral or educational nature. (Serving on Altar Guild, participation in intercessory prayer group, serving as a Eucharistic minister or teaching in the Church School are examples.) Even if one has a full time ministry outside of the parish setting, it is still suggested that a member of Anamchara Fellowship find a way to participate in the ministry of their local community of worship.
Tithing & Almsgiving
Members will work toward the Biblical stewardship of the Tithe, as they are able. In consideration of the yearly pledge to parish and other charitable organizations, it is suggested that each member will donate a portion of their giving to The Anamchara Fellowship, Inc. to help defray the costs of administration and public relations. The Directors of the Fellowship will hold the corporate account and make a yearly report to the members of all expenditures and receipts.