Affirmation of Intentional Poverty

(building upon former vow of 8/8/2012, below)


I hereby affirm that I will continue to live in an intentional, material poverty as a means of discipleship and in order to focus on personal spiritual and interpersonal compassionate growth instead of acquisition of wealth; and in solidarity with the majority of humanity, recognizing the true and unintentional poverty suffered by those in need around the world.

Recognizing that it is wrong to live solely seeking comfort and avoiding pain; that it is wrong to abstract oneself out of an embodied presence; wrong to indulge the vices of pleasure-without-purpose; and in recognition that true being is to be found in right relationality;[1] that ownership is not a valid form of right relationality.

I therefore uphold the principle of stewardship, choosing to understand my possessions in terms of a use limited by my own temporal being.  This I will do in the conscious awareness of necessity as it contrasts to my own desires, engaging in an ongoing dialectic of dis-appropriation at all times.

I confess that I understand all things are created from one cosmic source, deriving their being from cosmic Being;[2] seeking to conform my mind to this Principle,[3] I hereby commit myself and those things in my care to the missions that are before me.

Evan Kyrie Knappenberger, 12/7/2016

Eastern Mennonite Seminary,

Harrisonburg, Virginia

[1] Martin Buber and Walter Arnold Kaufmann, I and Thou, The Scribner Library. Philosophy/Religion (New York,: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1970).

[2] Col 1:11-15

[3] 1 Cor 2:16


[Former] Vow of Poverty

I Evan Kyrie Knappenberger do affirm that I will live a life of personal poverty and disavow all intention of worldly gain;

I will not allow fleeting bodily comfort to supersede the quest of spirit and mission;

I will own nothing: I will steward and use of God's graceful abundance minimally and temporarily;

All things come of the Great Spirit, which needs neither object nor sustenance;

Man does not live on bread alone, and in fact a preoccupation with bread precludes an inner life.

Therefore I shall redirect any material surplus under my control to missions of peace and justice.

8/8/2012 updated and renewed 10-2014