Our Vision: Growing good by awakening people to grounded, embodied faith.
Our Mission: To teach and practice a way of life based on the values of spiritual practice, creative endeavor, exuberant hospitality, generous friendship.
How Will We Achieve This?
- Develop the agricultural and artisanal potential of the land
- Build an online community through videos, podcasts, and blogs
- Host educational events and spiritual gatherings
- Provide spiritual direction online or in person
Spiritual Practice: Of first importance in the Serene Disciple Project is the practice of connecting to God through silence, prayer, and meditation. These ancient practices facilitate recognition and acceptance of the true self as one “fearfully and wonderfully made” in the image of Creator God. A grounded and embodied faith flows from the self-awareness and God-awareness that is born in practice.
Creative Endeavor: We aspire to a life of peaceful, attentive, creative work connected to a specific place and time. The Serene Disciple Project encourages and facilitates the work of the artist, artisan, and agrarian performed in the context of the kitchen, workshop, studio, gardens, and barns. Through creative endeavor and responsible stewardship of the resources we have been given, we become grounded in God’s vision for his kingdom.
Exuberant Hospitality: This includes tears and laughter, celebration and grief, the extraordinary and the daily grounds our lives in community. In the practice of sharing our lives, our meals, and our spaces with friends and strangers we deepen and enrich our connection with God and all things.
Generous Friendship: Authentic relationship and genuinely honest conversation without holding back, posturing, defensiveness, or condemnation. Through generous friendship we experience and embody the love of God.
About the Founder – Brett Hart
“Who am I? That’s a more difficult question for me to answer than one might guess. I spent twenty-four years teaching high school science and I worked a parallel career as a pastor and spiritual director for more than thirty years. I have also been married for almost thirty-four years. I am the father of four children and Baba to several grandchildren with two more on the way. Does that tell you who I am?
In the aftermath of a personal and professional crisis almost 10 years ago, I longed for a more sustainable and life-giving way of being in the world. This way of life, which I jokingly called “suburban monasticism,” owed much to the sort of monastic “rules” I had learned about in church history – rules for a way of being, speaking, and acting. My “way of being” consisted of time spent living and growing mindfully in all of the spaces in my home – solitude and personal devotion on the deck, creative activity in the workshop, hospitality in the kitchen, and spiritual friendship marked by good natured and generous conversation on the porch. This monastic quadrilateral of deck, shop, kitchen, and porch form the core of the Serene Disciple Project.
Some years after venturing into this new way of life, my wife and I moved our home from the suburbs of Austin, Texas to an old pecan farm on the outskirts of Coupland, Texas. We have spent the last few years growing this small plot of land into a beautiful and peaceful place in which I continue my “suburban monasticism” (although I’m pretty sure I can now call it rural). Each evening, before going inside, I check on the animals in the barn, the garden, and the chickens on their roost. The smell of the cold evening air and the green of the misted pastures are exhilarating. But what strikes me most, as I kick my farm boots off outside the kitchen door is the quiet simplicity of being here without struggle, allowing myself the successful poverty of effort to be anywhere else or anyone else. I can enjoy the cool of the air, the warmth of a fire, and the smell of the dinner on the stove. In the end, this is who I turned out to be: a serene disciple, content, with no one else to imitate.
And now, it has become my passion to invite others into this peaceful place and this mindful way of coming to know oneself, to respect what the land can give to us and what we can give in return, to build a community that fosters both joyful and difficult conversations. “