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Dear Community of Hope Family,

The Mission Statement of Community of Hope International is:

“Creating communities, steeped in Benedictine Spirituality,

to serve others through compassionate listening.”

Benedict believed that to live a spiritual life, we must live in community, for it is in community where we find the Christ in others. In COHI, our community is a monastery without walls; we have no physical door. Ours is a door of spirit, and we each become the “Porter at the Door” described by Benedict in The Rule, as we welcome the stranger and receive the Christ in the other. Deborah Cady, COHI, Kirkwood, MO, addresses the porter’s invaluable role in community in her offering, Porter at the Door . Deborah offers, “Joan Chittister in her explanation of the Rule states, ‘Answering the door is one of the arch activities of Benedictine life.  The way we answer the door is the way we deal with the world.’  Our response is to fling open the door and welcome the visitor, receiving the Christ in the other.”

To continue to answer the door well and in honor our founder, The Helen Appelberg Mustard Seed Fund has been established. This will ensure that Helen’s legacy of welcoming the stranger and building the community lives on by funding the effort to establish new COHI centers around the world. COHI began as a “mustard seed” in 1994. Planted in fertile soil in many locations, this mustard seed has produced large branches throughout the world to support vulnerable and hurting people. Your generous donation to The Helen Appelberg Mustard Seed Fund will expand our ability to serve as porters at the door, creating new communities as well as strengthening and encouraging our existing communities.

Our monastery without walls is a place of welcome and respite from which God’s love flows as we humbly serve to be the hands and feet of Christ in the world. We are at work:

* In individual lives—by offering training and discernment for caregivers in answering God’s call to serve and giving hope and love to care receivers by being fully present to them

* In our community—by bringing all our communities closer together through regional retreats and the annual conference and by supporting new centers

* In the world—by communicating the COHI vision and mission and forming Benedictine communities

We need your help to continue this work! We are off to a good start thanks to recent donations from two benefactors to The Helen Appelberg Mustard Seed Fund. As part of our COHI community, your contribution to this fund by the end of the year is crucial in helping us continue our mission of creating and sustaining “communities, steeped in Benedictine Spirituality, serving others through compassionate listening.”

Knock. Knock. “Welcome; you are a blessing to us! How may we serve you?” says the porter at the door. Will you become the porter at the door of our monastery and support this ministry of welcoming the stranger as Christ welcomes us by making your gift to The Helen Appelberg Mustard Seed Fund today?

Yours in Christ,

The COHI Board of Directors