1. Is your group an Order or a Community?
This Community is a Christian Community formed according to the Canons of the Episcopal
Church USA. Any man or woman interested in seeking a deeper relationship with Christ may
be considered for membership in the Community.
2. Is the Community associated with a major order like Franciscans or Benedictines?
The Community is not based exclusively on any one major tradition. The richness of diversity
that each offers forms the basis of our discipline. You will find building blocks of many of these
great traditions in every corner of our lives. For example, much of our Prayer life is based on
Benedictine tradition; our life of Study is somewhat Dominican; and our life of Service is
Franciscan or Jesuit.
3. How old is the Community?
The Community’s foundation dates back almost 2,000 years. This particular expression of the
Christian Community began in early 2007.
4. What does it cost to become a member of the Community? How are you
The philosophy of the Community is to let our members know the cost of doing things;
processing applications, paying legal fees, renting web space, etc. Members are then
asked to consider what they can do to cover these costs. Some members can not contribute
much because of their circumstances, and others contribute more. Somehow, it all works out!
No one is pressured to contribute funds, and everyone's contributions are held in the strictest
confidence. Members are encouraged to grow into the discipline of tithing, but this is primarily
directed toward the Member’s local parish or causes that further the love and compassion of
Christ. Members are responsible for their own books, travel and communication expenses.
5. I am a member of another Order. Can I also be a member with your Community?
Members of other Orders or Communities can be Friends of our Community. Generally,
people will need to focus and concentrate on one formation journey to get the most from it.
6. How old must I be to be a member?
You must be at least 21 years of age to be considered for membership in the Community.
There is no upper age limit.
7. Do you have members outside the United States?
We have Friends of the Community in several countries. Regular members, however,
are generally limited to North America. We are a dispersed Community, and therefore
it is important to try to stay connected with each other. We can do this with technology,
of course, but meeting each other face-to-face at our annual Convocation, at regional
retreats, or local gatherings is critical. Too great a distance between us presents challenges
for travel and maintaining essential bonds between members. Therefore, we discourage
regular membership outside the United States or Canada.
8. What Prayer Book is used by the Community?
The official prayer book of the Community is based on the Book of Common Prayer of the
Church, but members select the prayer book of their choice for personal use. When united
at Convocation or other regional meetings, the CG Prayer Book is generally used to unify
9. Do members have a formation program?
All members are considered to be under continuous formation. (See the Formation page
for further information.) Essentially, each member is assigned a Formation Guide who
assists the member with his or her formation.
10. Do you wear habits?
Our habits are primarily “habits of the heart.” The attention we draw to ourselves should
be because we are unique manifestations of God and are treating others as though they
were Christ. While Members are free to use neck crosses, prayer shawls and stoles,
our main habit is the external behavior we exhibit toward others and toward ourselves
in keeping with the love of Christ in our hearts. Local parish customs and special celebrations
may permit the wearing of our celebration vestments, which include an alb, cincture, and
scapular. While we wear no distinguishable clothing in public, we ask our members to dress
simply in keeping with our value of simplicity.
11. Is the Community open to both single and partnered relationships?
The Community is open to any person over the age of 21, single or partnered, who seeks
to live their life according to the Gospel. The expectation is, however, that any relationship
is based on fidelity and integrity.
12. What types of membership are available with the Community?
There are Friends of the Community, and there are committed members of the Community.
Committed members begin as Postulants, then may become Novices or Oblates. After this
period of initial formation, members may petition the Community to become Professed
Members. (See the Formation page and Members page for further information.)
13. What type of references will I need to apply to the Community?
Members applying to the Community will need the support of their spouse or partner, if there
is one. Letters of recommendation may also be asked of pastors or friends.
14. Do you have Oblates?
Oblates are lay people who associate themselves with a particular monastery or abbey in
order to support, and be supported by, that association through some formal arrangement.
Yes, we have an Oblate membership category.
15. Who are “Friends of the Community”?
Friends of the Community are those people interested in associating themselves with the
Community, but who do not wish to have any formal commitment. Friends support us in prayer
and other resources as they are able, and are supported by our prayer.
16. Is your Community approved by the Church?
The Community of the Gospel is nationally recognized as a Christian Community with the
Episcopal Church. This recognition was granted to us in February, 2013, by the House of
Bishops' Committee on Religious Communities.
17. Are your members considered to be monastics?
Indeed, yes! Please see the explanation for this in the Library document titled, "Are We