Dave Brisbin 8.15.21
Some six hundred years ago, in what has become a classic of Western spirituality, the anonymous English author of The Cloud of Unknowing is trying to show us the only way we can approach God: “No one can fully comprehend the uncreated God with knowledge, but each one, in a different way, can grasp him fully through love.” This love, understood as pure presence and connection, can only be experienced in the silence beneath words and the rational thought that speaks them.

But even this pure experience must still take place within the context of scripture, ethics, and the needs of our own human relationships so that our experience of love doesn’t become so subjective and inward that it actually becomes abusive. It’s a balance between knowing and loving that takes us to God’s presence, a balance between the concepts and teachings that limit error, and the love-as-presence that is unlimited enough to embrace God as God really is.

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Jesus as poet and teacher shows us this balance especially clearly in his Sermon on the Mount. At the same time he’s using the tools of poetry: metaphor, hyperbole, figures of speech, imagery, humor to evoke the experience of presence, he’s also laying out concrete commands that ground us in human relationship: how to pray, loving the enemy, letting go of judgment and worry. It’s the balance between knowing and loving in a poetic package aimed at an audience with no real ability to write. The Sermon is poetry meant to be easily remembered in its original language—to be repeatedly spoken or sung out loud, memorized and passed on in an oral tradition like the Songlines of Australia’s Aborigines. A portable spirituality that we can never lose because we ourselves have become the book. Poetry aimed at the ear and not the eye, at hands and feet rather than head balances us between passive thought and love in action—between love as free and immersive as the air we breathe, and the desire to steadily work our Way to the vulnerability and gratitude that are the only Way to embrace an unseen gift as it really is.
 

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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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