EDMONTON – A local Anglican has joined 35 Christians from around the world taking part this year in the Community of St. Anselm, a program for young people centred at Lambeth Palace, the official residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Melissa Ritz, who was most recently working as a theological intern and office administrator at Christ Church, Edmonton, arrived at Lambeth Palace in September, where she will spend a total of 10 months with 15 “residential” members of the community. Another 20 “non-residential” participants will live and work outside the palace, but in the London area.
Launched in 2015, the Community of St. Anselm invites Christians aged 20-35 to “spend a year in God’s time,” praying, studying and performing ministry together. The program is named after a medieval Benedictine monk and scholar, and participants in the community must follow a “Rule of Life.”
Ms. Ritz, who holds a Master of Divinity degree from Wycliffe College in Toronto, says she’s both hopeful and apprehensive about the experience. “I’m introverted and shy and have a tendency to be a hermit, so I’m looking forward to spending time with God and others with a common purpose,” she says. “Benedict encourages finding community and developing one’s self in God that endures wherever you go. I’m terrified to begin this journey, but I look forward to where God takes me next.”