Amos House is a homeless, ecumenical catholic worker community exploring urban monasticism
We seek to be a prophetic presence in the Nashville community that brings attention to social ills and speaks the truth of suffering love to the powers that be. We adhere to the principles of non-violence and seek to creatively resist all acts of physical and structural violence. Our community is named after the prophet Amos who rebuked the wealthy and complacent for ignoring the suffering of the poor and oppressed, who demanded social justice of God’s people, and who exposed the emptiness of religion and ritual apart from sacrificial living and mercy.
We understand our discipleship in terms of citizenship in the kingdom of God which we believe inherently requires a rejection of nationalism and a refusal to adhere to any laws that contradict the commandments to love God with all of our hearts, souls, and minds, and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Accordingly, we see ourselves as “resident aliens” who do not conform to the patterns of this world, but are transformed by the renewal of our minds through Christ in community. Moreover, we understand baptism by immersion to be a public/political act that symbolically declares one’s death to the world and resurrection as a citizen of the kingdom of God.
We believe that throughout history God has uniquely chosen to work through and on behalf of the marginalized, the oppressed, the poor, and the foreigner. We believe that liberation is intended for all people(s) and that co-liberation between the oppressed and their oppressors is the most powerful embodiment of reconciliation as articulated by Christ in the gospels.
Among the practices that we see as essential to our worship as a community are communal prayer, sharing the Eucharist and declaring that all are welcome at Christ’s table, washing the feet of our brothers and sisters, and the un-domestication of Scripture through reading it in the margins of society and on our streets. Furthermore, we believe that a life of contemplation and prayer is essential for rooting our actions and our speech in the teachings of Christ and the spirit of God alive in all of us.
Rather than adopting our culture’s exaltation of individualism, we identify as communitarian, understanding that our life together in community is indispensable in our task to live as a part of the body of Christ. In addition, we welcome fellowship with people from different communities of faith and from different walks of life and are open to what they have to teach us.
We seek to embody the spiritual and corporal works of mercy every day by our words and actions:
- Spiritual works of mercy: to admonish the sinner, to instruct the ignorant, to counsel the doubtful, to comfort the sorrowful, to bear wrongs patiently, to forgive all injuries, to be devoted to prayer, and to love our enemies
- Corporal works of mercy: to feed the hungry, to give drink to the thirsty, to clothe the naked, to liberate the captive, to harbor (house) the harborless (homeless), to visit the sick, to visit the prisoner, and to bury the dead
Amos House is also the home of the Mercy Fund which shows mercy in the form of financial assistance to the homeless women we work with on a daily basis who are pregnant, and to homeless men and women with children. The Mercy Fund allows us to have funding for needs like food, clothing, housing assistance, and healthcare that is often difficult or impossible to obtain through the social service system.