Meet the Ubuntu Villagers

How you been asking, what is Ubuntu Village? Or.. what are those young adults in Clarkston up to anyway?  Well… here are a few words from Ubuntu Village (Erin Davenport, Holly McKnight, and Paul Reeser):


Our days here are marked with life’s most ordinary moments. We orient ourselves by our neighbor’s smiles, and by sharing a few moments’ gladness with those we see. We are directed by our times around dinner tables, our walks down the street, and by sitting with a book by the sidewalk. Life here is simply, life. Nothing more, and nothing less. We have known the past many months that the quiet flowings of our moments here are so normal. Yet there is something sacred etching its way into both the ordinariness and the extraordinariness of this place we call Clarkston, this place we call home. I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that our lives here are not so different than the life you find yourself living. We eat and we play, we walk and we work, we pray and we fast, we sit and we wait—all while participating in the coming of God’s kingdom of love. We often sit around, as a group of friends, hoping somehow through the birth of this ubuntu spirit, that you see we are simply and only a few friends and followers who are trying to know life together, that you too are connected to us and to this place as you also bear witness to love and peace wherever you find yourself today. In this time, and in the days to come, we hope you will read and share with us how God is working in the ways that He does—common and uncommon, here and everywhere.

We have arrived at life here in much the same way you have, pleading with God for even small, tiny shreds of His holiness and graciousness to find their way to us as we work and as we play. We have been given much, you and I, and all we can do is try to be faithful to what has been laid before us. We pray for you all, asking God to be with you in your most quiet moments, sharing with you your particular task of sacrifice and daily work of dying so that the world may know Life. It is because of what you have all shared with us that we are here. It is your honesty that has asked us to live honest lives. It is because of your faithfulness to love and mercy that we are now seeking only to share that love and mercy that has already been handed to us.

We ask for your prayers in this, too, because we are reminded to often that there is so much we do not yet know, that we still must learn to untangle ourselves from the ways of this present age and from the illusions of this world we live in. We ask you to join us, not in some lofty, unrealistic dream of changing a place to better suit our understandings of how things should be, but in the hard work of getting our hands dirty to create a place where things are as God dreams they will be. We ask you to be dedicated with us to this work of untangling ourselves from the expectations of this world and we hope desperately you will join us in imagining a life that leaves no choice but to give our lives and days away to something good. Not because we are asked to, but because we have to-because if we don’t, because if you don’t, the powers of darkness will continue to prevail.

I write these words because we call you friends, and because friends, then also children of the One God and the One Jesus, all working on the One work-which is, creating a world where all may know One love, together. We are not special, we are only doing what has been asked of us. Would you please, take your place among us, as we join hands with Jesus of Nazareth, and proclaim the power of Resurrection here, and there.

We write this to those who have received our letters, to those who have already begun and will begin the good work of supporting our time here. And we say thank you for walking with us into this unfamiliar and strange journey. We need you to walk before us, beside us, and behind us, and remind us that we are just a bunch of fools—fools who have been handed the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, and that we must share what we have been given freely and without fear.

The biggest fools of all, Holly, Erin and Paul

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