About Windhover House

Welcome to Windhover House Fellowship! Windhover House is a community of Christians united by a love of good books, a passion for historic Chrisitianity, and a desire to live out the Gospel in ways that bless our neighbor and glorify God.

Who We Are

Several influences have given the Windhover House community a particular flavor:

  1. the creeds, confessions, traditions, and writings of the Christian Church
  2. the clear-headed essays and imaginative stories of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and G.K. Chesterton
  3. the awareness that commercialism and consumerism are regnant temptations of our age and subtly yet thoroughly destructive of the soul
  4. the desire to form and live in liturgically rich, “thick communities”
  5. the recognition of the Church’s need in post-Christian America to practice the Benedict Option

Windhover House emanated from sources both historical and fictional: Geerhard Groote’s Brethren of the Common Life, Edmund Spenser’s House of Holinesse in canto 1 of The Fairie Queene, Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s description of the ideal seminary in Life Together, and St. Anne’s House in C.S. Lewis’s That Hideous Strength.

We have also been inspired in very applicable ways by the vision, practices, and writings of the Eighth Day Institute of Wichita, KS. Eighth Day Institute hopes “other communities will replicate our model”; Windhover House is one such replication. In fact, the next section was written in deliberate imitation of the Eighth Day Institute (see Micro-Synaxis 1, 84), but adapted to the particularities of our community and place.

What We Strive to Be

All of Windhover House’s endeavors seek to be:

  1. Christian, because the key to any flourishing culture is historic Christianity as revealed in its Scripture, confessed in its creeds, practiced in its daily and corporate worship, interpreted by its “great cloud of witnesses” (Heb. 12:1), and lived out by those who have gone before us.
  2. Classical, because all truth, beauty, and goodness have its origin and end in Christ Jesus, the classic books of the past–both Christian and non-Christian–teach us how to labor for the prosperity and peace of the City of Man while remaining faithful pilgrim members of the City of God.
  3. Liberal (in the classical sense of the term), because the liberal arts cultivate in us a concern for the power and integrity of language, a desire to understand the order of the natural world, and a passion to cultivate virtues that will replace our sinful desires and enable us to life fully human lives.
  4. Integrative, because the gospel brings peace not only between us and God, and between us and our neighbor, but also between our own divided selves. The whole person–body and soul, reason and imagination, loves and will–need to be reintegrated and rightly ordered through Christ Jesus.
  5. Small, because the core of Christianity is our participation in the fellowship of the Trinity, which means the daily practice of the means of grace–prayer, Scripture, fellowship, repentance, fasting, worship, good works–in the community of other Christians. This means loving the actual flesh-and-blood people that God has placed in our life and owning them as our very own.
  6. Local, because the fellowship and peace of the Christian community must overflow into tangible benefit to the unbelievers among whom the Christian community dwells. Christianity is a religion rooted in time and space; the Incarnation means that Christians must be aware of their own particular place in time and labor to both love and bless it.

What We Do

A community cannot exist unless its members meet and spend time together. To this end, Windhover House Fellowship meets twice a month in person to enjoy good food and drink, and a time of prayer, singing, and discussion of a reading that helps us learn how to live the kind of life embodied by the ideals expressed above.

We also offer literature classes and our own (infrequent) podcast to provide resources to those unable to attend the actual face-to-face meetings of Windhover House.

Our Patron: St. Augustine

Finally, if Windhover House were have a patron saint, it would be St. Augustine. His writings have done more to shape the theological vision of Windhover House than any other extra-biblical author. St. Augustine was a great classical scholar and wrote voluminously: his first biographer exclaimed that St. Augustine wrote more in his lifetime than most people would read in theirs.

But in addition to his writing, Augustine was also a faithful pastor and bishop. He had all the work of a pastor: weekly preaching, caring for souls, disciplining wayward minds and hearts, writing letters of encouragement. St. Augustine is our hero because he combines a vigorous life of the mind and service of the Church with a faithful love of the peculiar people God placed him among.

Theologically, St. Augustine has influenced Windhover House in three significant ways:

  1. In his Confessions St. Augustine shows that the Christian life is not over at conversion. Rather, the Christian life is a life of constant repentance, prayer, meditation, worship, and yearning to know God through Christ. It is a struggle against sin that does not cease until death, yet it is also thoroughly marked and empowered by grace.
  2. In On Christian Teaching St. Augustine shows how all truth, beauty, and goodness in human learning–even pagan learning–come ultimately from God. Thus, Christians have the obligation to study every field of human learning and wisdom and appropriate it for the service of the Church. However, such cultural work should only be undertaken by those who are faithfully involved with the church, a community that shapes their loves and minds in Christocentric ways.
  3. In The City of God St. Augustine teaches that the visible Church is a pilgrim city. Not only are its citizens pilgrims in a strange land, but the City of God itself is a civitas peregrina, a pilgrim community living in the City of Man. And though the City of Man is always fundamentally opposed to the City of God, Christians can (and must) labor for the peace and prosperity of their unbelieving city.