Since Christ’s deed, His followers have been left with the challenge of how to build His body – Christ community – here on earth. All Christian movements can be seen as ways to answer this question in a manner that is appropriate to the spirit of the times in which they emerge. Founded in 1922 in Switzerland, The Christian Community, Movement for Religious Renewal, is one such movement.
Its 45 founders felt that Christianity as practiced at that time, was becoming increasingly irrelevant, despite the boundless good will and heartfelt devotion found in Christian churches. Radical new ideas were necessary. The theoretical materialism of modern science had crept into the world-view of theologians and church leaders. It was becoming increasingly difficult for many, if not most people to think or even imagine the resurrection of Christ without invoking miracles indistinguishable from magic. How could an intellectually honest person be a Christian in the modern world? The founders felt that there had to be a different world-view, a better, more comprehensive way to understand the reality in which we live.
They found that new world-view in Anthroposophy, the work of Rudolf Steiner (1861 – 1925), an Austrian philosopher, esotericist, and Christian initiate. Steiner had already inspired cultural renewal in a variety of fields, such as Waldorf education, biodynamic agriculture and many others. His spiritual advice and inspiration was the essential source for the seven sacraments in their renewed form. His insights provided a way to understand both the transformation of matter and of human lives through the spiritual power of Christ.
After taking root mainly in Europe until WWII, The Christian Community then spread to the other continents. The first North American congregation was founded in New York City in 1948. Since that time, it has expanded to 14 communities throughout North America served by one or more full time priests.