Mission Vision

Our mission is simply to live theeffect of God’s love in a non-religious and transforming way.

  • Why non-religious? Because as beautiful as the symbols and rituals and dogma of any religion may be at the beginning of things, those systems that were meant to illuminate our journey often and eventually become substitution for the journey and need to be stripped away in order for us to see the path again.
  • Why transforming? Because any faith that makes no discernible change in our lives, attitudes, choices, and relationships is indistinguishable from non-faith.

With whom do we live this effect?DSC_0257
We’re here to learn to live in relationship with our neighbor–qariba in Aramaic, which means anyone who draws close to us. The distinctions we make between people, putting them in categories such as friend, enemy, family, have no relevance in the face of love…there are only those who are in our path and those who are not. If they’re here, no matter what they look like, they are to be loved. But what does that mean? Fortunately, love in the Biblical sense doesn’t necessarily include any feelings of affection or sentimentality. How else could we love our enemies?

Band The love we are to show everyone near to us is a desire to become so identified with them as to, in a sense, become the ones we love. This identification includes the desire to give that which is truly needed at any given moment, of course. And not just an idle desire, but one strong enough to motivate us to action. We can’t control whom we like or dislike, but we can desire to treat everyone as we want to be treated. That may mean providing anything from food to comfort to discipline to a simple smile, but it always means acceptance and respect.

We see ourselves as followers of the Way, the name the first Jewish followers of Jesus gave to themselves–Christians in the purest sense of that word. We don’t follow Jewish tradition, but we do try to see Jesus and his teaching from a first century Jewish point of view. We believe that context will get us closest to the truth. The Way of Jesus, or Jesus as the Way, is the thing we can be sure of. Following the Way is the beginning of an intensely personal journey of the spirit, which no church can accomplish for us, but which we can all influence and encourage by holding each other’s hands along the Way.

And that is our vision. To encourage each and every person in our path to begin their own journey. To show them what someone on the journey looks like. To provide that which is most needed along the Way: encouragement, resources, instruction, mentoring, friendship, community…in other words, love. How we do that, in what form or structure, is what we’ll all figure out together–on the Way.

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Everyone is recovering from something… Admitting this is the first step in spiritual life, because any unfinished business in our lives–trauma, unforgiveness, fear-based perceptions–fosters compulsive behavior and keeps us from connecting spiritually and emotionally.

Since we’re all recovering, we accept everyone right as they are—no expiration dates or deadlines. We don’t tell anyone what to believe or do. We present points of view that we hope will engage seekers in their own journey; help them unlearn limiting perceptions, beliefs, and compulsions; give opportunities to get involved in community, building the trust we all need to find real identity, meaning, and purpose. In other words, to engage the transforming Way of living life that Jesus called Kingdom…non-religiously understood from a first century Hebrew point of view.

 

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Embedded in the fun and laughter of each of our gatherings and events is the connection and accountability as well as the structure, discipline, and opportunity for service that authentic community is all about. We help create programs for physical support, emotional recovery, and spiritual formation that can meet any person’s needs. Such programs work at two levels: first to address a person’s physical and emotional stability—clinical, financial, relational,professional—anything that distracts from working on the second level: true spiritual formation centered around the contemplative way of life defined by an original Hebrew understanding of the message of Jesus.

Rather than telling people what to believe or think, we model and encourage engagement in a personal and communal spiritual journey that allows people to experience their own worthiness of connection and acceptance, to find the freedom from underlying fears that brings real meaning and purpose into focus.

 

Effect in Action

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Seeing ourselves as a learning and recovery community that worships together, the focus isn’t on Sunday morning alone, but on every day of the week as we gather for worship, healing and support workshops, studies, 12 step meetings, counseling and mentoring sessions, referral services, and social events. We maintain a food pantry for those needing more support, a recovery worship gathering, and child care for those with little ones.

Our Sunday gathering starts at 10AM and our Recovery gathering on Tuesdays at 7PM. Both gatherings include worship with one of the best worship bands in the area. See our monthly calendar and our Facebook page to stay in touch with what is happening each week. You can also sign up on our elist for email enews updates.

 

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