dave brisbin | 6.5.16
One of the words ancient Christians used to describe the contemplative way was the word “apophatic.” From the Greek, it literally means to deny speaking or saying. In Latin, it is sometimes called the “via negative” or negative way—negative in the sense of emptying the mind of words, images, ideas in order to rest in God’s presence. In our contemporary culture, this seems somehow perverse in terms of coming into a connection with God.

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But as we look as Jesus’ time in the wilderness, his staring down the temptations of the adversary from a place of emptiness, his wild, paradoxical sayings of accomplishing by letting go, finding our lives by losing them, his insistence in the Beatitudes of the centrality of “negative” aspects of poverty of spirit, mournfulness, meekness, hunger and thirst as characteristic of kingdom, we see the apophatic way illustrated. To sell all we have and give to the poor in order to follow Jesus into the father’s presence is a letting go of all we think we have and know and believe in order to stand like children in the father’s presence and see what is really before us again for the first time.

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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.

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