stories

Congratulations! I can still remember the first time I was drawn into the hall at Dana Point Harbor in May 2007. I am so honored to have been a part of the early days of such an amazing faith community. And I am honored to have had you perform the blessing for Kaili Joy when she was weeks old. Theeffect has been such a huge part of my spiritual recovery and you have been my rock through some of the most difficult times of my life. Theeffect continues to provide a foundation for my continued spiritual growth.

Melanie M. –Fountain Valley, CA

There is a real “wow,” a real something that is so radical so different, so hopeful about theeffect. Before coming to theeffect, I was discouraged. I perceived God as a deity in image of the Ayatollah Khomeini—or worse because anyone who would torment someone in hell forever would be almost evil. After I came, I saw God differently—I saw there is love, acceptance. I learned to be more loving and accepting…more at peace…understanding transformation. Also learned I did not have to have it all figured out in my head…just trust…experience…one day at a time…being in the moment….being in the present…or in His Presence. We need to do more to really send this message, get this message across.

Doug F. –San Clemente, CA

Your support and guidance to our family during this tough time was invaluable. I feel strongly now that you have been extended into our lives so that we could meet and continue to be friends. Your ministry is something else—nothing we have ever seen before, and our entire family has commented on the genuine, raw, realness of the community. It’s the kind of church atmosphere that can enrich me and other members of my family.

Cathy J.—Carlsbad, CA

By the grace of God, in about a week I will have been blessed by six continuous years of sobriety. I am healthier today—both physically and spiritually—than I have been my entire adult life. I have three incredible grandchildren that have been born in the last three years, and I thank God every day for allowing me to be the Papa I am today rather than the Papa I would have been. Truthfully, it’s more likely that I would not have been here at all by now, and this truth is a fountain of humility and gratitude in my life. All credit belongs to God, but I want you to know that a portion of my gratitude is reserved for you and theeffect. I am witness to Him using you to fulfill His will.

William G.—Basehor, KS

I’ve gained a lot of love here…hope, courage, support, perseverance…through seeing everybody, all my friends…there are just so many people here that mean the world to me. I wouldn’t want to have it any other way. I’m really, really grateful that I found theeffect, and that theeffect is part of the path God has chosen for me.

Karen S. –San Juan Capistrano, CA

I/we live in Arizona, and I have been listening to your sermons for over a year.  Your message is profound because it speaks of such a deeper truth than what most churches expound. I wanted to thank you for your research into the historical and cultural meanings of Jesus’ walk on this earth.  For the first time in my life, the bible actually makes sense to me.

Is there a way to stream your Sunday worship services?   We haven’t been able to find a church in Arizona that speaks of a deeper truth in the way you do.  We would be so grateful to experience your messages “live.”

Thank you for your time and ministry,

Becky J., PhD –Scottsdale, AZ

I can’t begin to thank you for being an internet angel! My daughter will be 60 days clean, tomorrow, and one of her biggest motivators is going to your Tuesday night gathering and meeting and to your Sunday meeting. She has met her sponsor there, and is building that connection. Although we are taking everything one day at a time, she has found a community that she truly loves to be a part of in theeffect!  I can’t tell you what a gift that is to me! What your community is doing there for young people struggling with addiction as well as older members is magic. What an amazing community you have built!

Orla M. –Fullerton, CA

I felt moved to drop a line and say thank you for your messages. You may not know it, but your messages each week have played a vital role in my spiritual awakening. Never did I imagine that I would anticipate someone’s email to hit my inbox each week, in fact the last one showed up a couple days earlier than usual and the timing could not have been better. Even though I have been back through the archive several times, I always find that I have missed or forgotten a line or two that resonates with me, maybe for the situation that day or the week’s trials. Your sincerity and true desire to help those through the recovery process is evident, that being said the footprint you and your ministry has left me with has been life changing. I have to share…….when your new messages are posted I am like a child on Christmas day, excited to open and hear the new messages.

Lon G. --Vancouver, WA

I would like to say thank you. I wish I could explain to you in a way that wouldn’t be rambling what great joy it is to hear you teach and preach a gospel of love. Everything I’ve read and everything I’ve heard is just so full of life, and I haven’t experienced that before, though I’ve sought from a fair number of teachers representing a fair number of traditions. It seems that every half-heretical musing I’ve scribbled in a notebook you’ve addressed in your book, on theeffect webpage, or when you’ve taught. Just wanted to say I love you ’cause my spirit is exuberant at hearing you present Truth and Love and may God continue to bless you as I know He has for the way you represent Him.

Mike C. –San Juan Capistrano, CA

I remember the first time I heard about theeffect. I was in treatment, and the leaders there described the Tuesday evening gathering as a sort of combination between gospel music and an AA meeting. Then they said it would last two hours at which time the old reliable negative thoughts began to arise. It was a mandatory event so I decided to make the best of it. That was one of the most memorable Tuesday evenings I have spent in many a year. The music was outstanding!  The Holy Spirit was in that place.  The 12 Step meeting was an  unexpected gift. The two hours flew by. For the remaining weeks I was in So. Cal, I looked forward to any opportunity to go to theeffect.  It reminds me of the song He is Here: “He is here you can touch Him, you will never be the same.” I pray often for theeffect team and God’s work there.

Bill N. –Seattle, WA

Theeffect is a little independent church more like an un-church. It has some familiarity with a church: singing, prayer, a message and coffee and donuts afterwards… but that is where it stops… The music is a blend of contemporary mixed with a little Grateful Dead, and along with coffee and donuts you can bum a cigarette from someone smoking outside the courtyard. The message is current, contemplative, looking more towards Jesus as a guide and not Church, Inc…This community, which after only a few weeks of attending, my wife and I now call home, is made up of people of all ages and of all tracks of life, by some church standards might be considered the wrong tracks, but this church opens its arms… We are not here to preach, judge, or condemn, we just see a need and want to help wherever and whoever we can.

Frank P. –Aliso Viejo, CA

Thanks for all you have done in providing a community of love and recovery. I had 30 days sobriety when theeffect started. I now have nine years. theeffect has played an integral part in my nine year sober walk with Christ. Congratulations on your ninth anniversay and thank you.

Eric Y. –San Clemente, CA

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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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