Hope Church
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An experiment in New Monasticism

Hope Church
Jeromy Emerling and his wife, Debbie, are part of the New Monastic movement. The couple share a Billings, Mont., home with four friends as part of a vision to become true followers of Christ by living simply and as unselfishly as possible. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
The household gathers in the kitchen for a meal. The experiment to live together and share in all things has proved a bumpy yet gratifying road. As Jeromy Emerling says: “We’re trying to live so every dimension of our lives is different. We don’t know what that will look like.” (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
Meal Time
Phyllis Porrett talks with Kedrik, 7, after serving him a bowl of cereal as her husband Kyle washes dishes. The household invited the child and his mother, Ashley Marcha, to spend the night with them after an encounter at the local homeless shelter. “We so appreciate you all,” Marcha told the group. “I think God stopped us here for a reason.” (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
Debbie Emerling watches over her two children Matthew, left, and Eli, 2, right, along with toddler Tavie Porrett. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
Jeromy lets Kedrik hold his son, Matthew. When Kedrik and his mother needed a place to stay, along with another woman and her child, Jeromy offered to put them up. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
Jeromy and Debbie Emerling head out with their children. “I want this house to be something positive in a world where people are very much alone,” Debbie says. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
Home Renovation
Jeromy Emerling and Jake Neufeld help renovate the new home of Kyle and Phyllis Porrett. The couple decided to move out of the communal abode after they were told they could adopt their foster children. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
Serving Meals
Jeromy Emerling and Heather Thompson, a recent addition to the household, serve meals to people in the Montana community as part of their service through the Billings Rescue Mission. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
Bedtime Stories
Jeromy Emerling reads a story before bedtime to his 2-year-old son Eli. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
Getting Ready For Work
Jeromy Emerling gets ready to head for work as a fundraiser for a Christian nonprofit while Debbie stays home to care for their children. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
Community Service
Ashley Tremont and her son Zyan, 3, prepare to leave the communal home after staying the night on an invitation from Jeromy Emerling, who met them at a homeless shelter. Helping others is a part of the community service that Jeromy hopes the group can do more of. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
Jeromy Emerling and Nathan Vincent pray together at the start of their day. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
Delivering Meals
Heather Thompson, left, and Jeromy Emerling, center, finish their service delivering meals. “God is most glorified when we spend less time on ourselves and more on other people,” Jeromy says. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)