"We must live in community because we take our stand in the spiritual fight on the side of all those who fight for freedom, unity, peace, and social justice." +Eberhard Arnold
Anthony's Plot started in August 2010 when a small group of us moved into a house in the Sunnyside neighborhood, the most diverse district in Winston-Salem. This diversity in race, income, education, home ownership, immigration experiences, etc led us to some important questions: what does it look like to gather across the lines that divide and seek the common good; and, how have "I" been a participant in systemic injustice that allows such different opportunities and lived experiences to exist side-by-side? Our life together has been a constant adventure in exploring these questions.
The people at the heart of Anthony's Plot include our covenantal partners, our neighbors, and our friends in the wider community. Covenantal partners are individuals, couples, families who are trying a way of life with each other: to be in proximity to one another and the neighborhood, to share all things together, to practice peacemaking, to offer radical hospitality, to join in common prayer and worship, to work together. Beyond our neighborhood, we have linked our lives with persons who face unholy circumstances - being homeless, having poor mental or addiction health, being an undocumented immigrant, or getting caught in the prison "pipelines" - in the US today. These friends and strangers make up our wider community of accountability.
We are a small community, but we are catching glimpses of the kin(g)dom of God breaking out all around us. Whenever we eat meals with neighbors or celebrate a homecoming; whenever we grow veggies in our garden or do Freedom School with the kids; whenever we stand in support of a friend deserving justice; whenever we break bread and drink the cup of Christ together, we glimpse the kin(g)dom.
...Oh, and we should probably answer the question: who is "Anthony?" Anthony Ulrich was an African enslaved on the sugar plantations of St Thomas in the early 1700's. The Moravians met Anthony when he was in Copenhagen serving nobility, and they asked for him to come tell the refugee Moravian community in Herrnhut of the experiences of his people in St Thomas. As he shared inhumane stories of enslavement, the Moravians were inspired to share the light of Christ with the slaves there. But Anthony gave a prophetic word: his people wouldn't care about the Jesus of those who look like the colonizers. Instead, Moravians must become slaves, giving up their lives to be with his family; then, and only then, will they have the heart (and stomach) for what the Moravians had to share. At Anthony's Plot, we celebrate the courageous voice of Anthony and his vision of "downward mobility" as the way of being as Christ. Anthony reminds us that we all kneel together until a point at which we can all stand.