I just heard (thanks Rebecca) that several houses in Shane Claiborne's Simple Way community and the surrounding neighborhood in Philadelphia burned down last night - including Shane's own home and all his belongings. Eight houses burned in all, including the Simple Way's community center where they ran their "Yes! And..." creative arts program and the building and equipment for their Cottage Printworks microbusiness. Though over 100 people were evacuated from their homes, thankfully nobody was hurt.
Many of you will know Shane from his book The Irresistible Revolution. He and his fellow Simple Way members are at the leading edge of a new movement of neo-monastic intentional communities - i.e. small groups of typically young Jesus radicals who move into urban areas among the poor to live intentionally in transformational community. Shane has been especially inspirational to me (I wish I had the courage to live as he does) and our church is actually reading his book together this summer.
Anyhow, while I know that Shane and his friends place no value on material possession and will likely emerge from this crisis more passionate than ever, even still it is a setback for them and their ministry. If you would like to contribute to the Simple Way Rebuilding Fund or to the Kensington Families Fund (for their neighbors who also lost their homes), click here and scroll to the bottom of the page for instructions on how to do so.