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Our Curriculum is a six-week study guide for building community particularly with homeless individuals and families.


Introduction to the Curriculum

Download the Building the New City curriculum

Building the New City is a six-week curriculum based on the six communal practices of the New City, distilled from the teachings of Basil of Caesarea (more on Basil's New City).  Each week focuses on a different aspect of how to build community, and more specifically, how congregations and their members can build community with people who have experienced homelessness. Each week's content includes reflections, readings, simple and practical daily exercises, prayers, first person stories of people who have experienced homelessness, facts about homelessness, and questions for group discussion.

Building the New City is structured around a core belief in the transformative power of relationships. As your small group or community of faith works through the material, you will learn how to build healthy, positive, and supportive relationships based on the six communal practices of the New City.  Important themes include learning to see through another's eyes, the importance of boundaries, understanding the effects of trauma, and avoiding secondary trauma.  Your small group or community of faith will be transformed through the stories, practices and reflections provided in the curriculum. 

How the Curriculum Works

The curriculum is founded around six communal practices that constitute the heart of what it means to live in community:

  • Compassionate Seeing
  • Heartfelt Listening
  • Intentional Welcoming
  • Joyful Sharing
  • Grateful Receiving
  • Cooperative Building

Each week’s content focuses on one of the six practices, and is divided into two sections: exercises and discussion guide. The exercises are intended for use by individual participants during the course of the week. The discussion guide is intended for use by a group of participants as they gather to reflect on the past week's exercises and decide together how they will commit to integrating the communal practice into their congregational life.

Check out this video of our Executive Director, Paul Schroeder, addressing the "Compassionate Seeing in Everyday Life" lunch seminar on April 15th at First Congregational United Church of Christ.

The Building the New City curriculum is structured around a core belief in the transformative power of relationships.

Click on the image above to download the curriculum, including exercises and the study guide!

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Village Support Network Orientation

Thursday, March 16th, 7:00-8:30 pm

Location: Beaverton

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