Common Friars

The Common Friars are men and women, married and single, lay and ordained, of an emerging monastic order in the Episcopal Church. We are a group of people seeking to understand and live out what it means to be a Christian disciple today. We do this by placing the utmost importance on being connected to the land, to each other, and to those on the margins of society. The land we are directly connected with is the Good Earth Farm located in Athens. Ohio. Here we each live and work together and contribute our individual talents and gifts to one another and to the broader community.

By calling ourselves Common Friars, we wish to identify and connect ourselves with a long monastic tradition that informs and inspires our growth. We use the term friar, not in its literal sense of brother, but in its missional connotation of being sent out.  Much of our life together now revolves around the issues of living together. However, we do not see ourselves as only concerned with that question.

Forming ourselves based on a Rule of Life that includes set times for prayer, worship, work, study and recreation we hope to be liberated through Christ in order to live joyful lives and help others do the same. Poverty, hospitality, and joy are our guiding ideals while prayer and work provide avenues of expression.

A Brief History of the Common Friars and the Good Earth Farm

by Paul Clever

I was sitting in the waiting room at the Cleveland Clinic while my wife, Sarah, was having her sixth colonoscopy in as many years. I was thinking about her ulcerative colitis, the blood transfusions, the tests, the rheumatoid arthritis, the medical bills, and her enduring peace of mind. God visited me there. I saw us moving back to Athens and serving those in need and God with all our resources. More important than these thoughts was the overwhelming confidence that we would be provided for. I felt the confidence to “go in peace to love and serve the Lord”.

One month later, I quit the best paying farm job I ever had. We were provided for. One month later, Sarah received a full-time teaching position at Hocking College which provided income and insurance. Between odd jobs I spent my time discerning how to specifically put that experience in the waiting room into practice.read more

Read our individual stories below.


Paul Clever

Sarah Parker Clever

Father Thomas J. Fehr

Kelly Latimore