Dave Brisbin | 10.9.16
Any look at the contemplative way has to include a close look at what since Thomas Merton in the fifties has been called the “false self.” This sense of personal identity is based on the emotional programs for happiness and survival born out of basic human need and nature and as a by-product of self-awareness/consciousness. But it is tailored to each individual by our hurts and traumas, primarily from early life where our deepest fears, attitudes, and worldview are formed. How can we identify this false self that, just as the sun obliterates the nighttime stars, obliterates the true self that remains purely connected to God’s presence deep within. 

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Looking at Pauls’s comments in Romans and Philippians; at the offline and online practice of meditation, centering prayer, and mindfulness; at the church’s and AA’s steps of self-examination and confession, we come closer and closer to Jesus’ goal of bringing us to the freedom that only comes from knowing the truth. And the truth is, that the voice that talks to us in our heads, the emotions that trigger us to compulsive behavior patterns, is not who we really are. Who we really are is a Kingdom resident waiting to happen, like a tree in winter waiting for the thaw of spring.

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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.

 

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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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