Dave Brisbin 11.1.20
What happens to children growing up in a house with parents who hold such high standards that they are essentially impossible to please? How do children respond when the only acceptance and approval they know seem wholly based on their performance? When they can never know whether their performance will be enough? Faced with a graceless environment, they can either keep trying to earn acceptance and approval or stop—overachievers and dropouts. Of course, these are not hard categories; we move along a continuum between striving for lofty goals and giving up, but one is generally favored. And what is true for children and parents remains true for all of us in our relationship with God.

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Graceless churches and theologies produce a continuum from those who follow law, doctrine, and practice as perfectly as possible to be “right” with God, to those who eventually give up the fight. In one of the most vivid stories in the gospels, Jesus is placed squarely between the entitlement of an overachiever and the shame of a dropout. And it is Jesus’ grace, in fact, just the promise of his grace that carries the dropout through the barrier of her shame, off the continuum of a legal, contractual relationship with God, to find that grace is a real thing, even for her. The question Jesus is asking all of us is whether we’re ready get off the hamster wheel of the continuum…whether we’re ready to take an unmerited leap through the paper barrier of our shame and into an acceptance and approval that exists without condition.
 

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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 6:30PM. 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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