jonathan wilson-hartgrove

Sandi Villarreal 11-01-2013
Photo courtesy Convergent Books

Rutba House, the hospitality house in Durham, N.C. Photo courtesy Convergent Books

“Love casts out fear, but we have to get over the fear in order to get close enough to love them.”
- Dorothy Day

This year marks the 80th anniversary of the Catholic Worker Movement — best known for its hospitality houses that dot the nation, bringing together communities of individuals in need and offering them housing and love.

It was in that vein that Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove and his wife, Leah, began Rutba House in Durham, N.C., after experiencing what he calls the “Good Samaritan story:” While the couple were on a peacemaking trip in Rutba, Iraq in 2003, friends were injured in a car accident, and local physicians gracefully cared for them.

Jonathan and Leah returned to the states looking for a way to extend the same type of love and welcome they received in Iraq. Ten years later, Rutba House holds countless stories of transformation through community, which Jonathan recounts in his book Strangers at My Door: An Experiment in Radical Hospitality, out Nov. 5.

Upon first glance, the arc of the narrative does seem radical. The hospitality house welcomes strangers in to live as part of the community — even at midnight, even when they might not pass society’s presentability test, even when the host is tired, even when they come straight from prison.

“I think part of what I’ve learned over the past 10 years — what Jesus is revealing to us through this call to greet him in the stranger — is something basic about who we are and who we’re made to be,” Wilson-Hartgrove told Sojourners. “All of us are called to hospitality — not just as Christians, as human beings. Because humans can’t live alone.”

Lisa Sharon Harper 08-22-2012
The Awakening of Hope: Why We Practice a Common Faith, via jonathanwilsonhartgro

The Awakening of Hope: Why We Practice a Common Faith, via jonathanwilsonhartgrove.com

Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove is a modern-day sage. A leader in the New Monastic movement, Hartgrove offers New Monastics and the church at-large profound lessons revealed through the practices of catechism — the spiritual disciplines of Christian faith. 

Tempted by the powers of isolation, consumerism, pride, and violence this generation is drawn to the calls to community and simple living for reasons it hardly knows. Wilson-Hartgrove explains the “why." 

Through the stories of well-established intentional Christian communities, Wilson-Hartgrove offers windows into the catechisms of the Christian faith. Communion and the Eucharist, fasting, integrity, community, non-violence, and public witness each serve as windows into much deeper philosophical and theological discussions.

Logan Isaac 11-22-2010

This series written by Logan Mehl-Laituri for God's Politics focuses on selective conscientious objection. Read more posts in this series here.

About 25 years ago, the pastor of a relatively poor congregation had an accident and racked up a huge medical bill in the hospital.
Tony Campolo 05-26-2010
To make a difference for good in this world a person has to have a sense of place. But few of us have such a sense. We are a people on the move.

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