Dave Brisbin 5.2.21
What kills our ability to trust our lives to the action of unseen spirit? Our fears, of course. We fear death because of the ultimate unknown it represents: whether anything we imagine ourselves to be continues. We fear God’s judgment and hell because we’ve been taught to look at God legally and hell literally. But that is not what Scripture teaches. Corrected by context, Scripture presents a heavenly God, connected, always unbalancing the scales of justice in favor of the beloved—the living definition of grace. And of the five words in the bible that have been translated as hell in English, none of them mean the hell we imagine—a word borrowed from medieval Germanic tribes and a concept borrowed largely from Dante’s fourteenth century poem, Inferno. The closest the bible comes to our notion of hell, the Aramaic word gehenna, like Catholic purgatory, is a temporary place for the wicked dead where the fires are more for purification than punishment. When purified, even the wicked move on.

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Does this mean there is no hell? Of course not. But it does mean that if God is not a legal God, then hell is not what we think it is. Hell is not so much a thing as the absence of a thing—the way cold is absence of heat and dark is absence of light, hell is absence of…heaven. We’ll never have a healthy understanding of hell until we understand heaven. Scripturally, heaven and God are the same: to know the consummate oneness and connection of God is to know/enter heaven, right here and right now. The oneness of heaven is the reality of our universe, but our conscious minds create the illusion of separation; our minds create hell and keep us there as long as we identify with our minds more than each other. But once we’re fully involved in life, we stop fearing death, and once we’re fully involved in heaven, we stop living in hell. We have learned to imagine heaven as a place of ideal circumstances. But what if it’s not? What if heaven is the learned ability to see our circumstances as ideal? Connected. Unified. Anywhere. Anywhen. What if, at the end of all our searching, we find that heaven is portable? We don’t go there, we carry it with us wherever we go.
 

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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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