Dave Brisbin 8.27.23
Talking to a man going through a devastating life transition. Now in his sixties, he’d always been a man who could make things happen through sheer intellect and effort: built businesses from the ground up and rose to top leadership in church and ministry. He derived his identity primarily from those two focuses—from ironclad beliefs that were both anchor and compass.

But a series of disillusioning events at the church drove a deconstruction of his faith and beliefs that cast him adrift, a down-spiral that included alcohol and a bad fall that incapacitated him long enough to lose his business and nearly his family as well. Four years later, he’s saying he wishes he could go back to the days when life made sense, that he’s not contributing anymore, doesn’t feel value to life. Thinks maybe he should move to a larger city where he’d have opportunities to volunteer, maybe write a book, start a new business.

I so resonate with this man.

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I know that true identity never comes from temporary accomplishment and recognition, but from a silent place within that no one will ever see or applaud. That experiencing this deeper identity infuses meaning from inside out, rather than trying to extract it, vampire-like, from another source. And yet I still feel the pull to do something others will see as significant, leave a legacy that will outlive, a mark on the world like carving into a tree that I was here.

I know that in two generations, no one will remember me. Two generations. That’s it. Even if I leave a book or legacy, my products may be remembered, but not me. If I can’t find value right now, typing these words careless of whether anyone reads them, I won’t find it anywhere else. When Jesus says we’re blessed when we’re poor in spirit, he’s saying just that: to have an attitude of poverty even if we’re rich, admit complete dependence, realize we don’t exist individually but only in connection with each other, is the only meaning that is permanent. We’re blessed—whole and complete—the moment we can stop striving to be different to be remembered, laying back into the grateful anonymity of oneness with all that 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 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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