Dave Brisbin 5.16.21
Imagine living in a world where you didn’t understand the workings of nature…where thunder, lightning, earthquakes, eclipses were literally the voice, hands, and face of God? Where impossibly dark nights exploded with stars and the only entertainment were the chants, drums, and dance around community fires at night. Where you never saw your own reflection in a mirror and only knew the faces of those around you? How would you experience life and identity in such a world? Slow, earthy, magical, communal. This is the world from which our scripture comes and when Jesus describes people born of spirit as the wind blowing where it pleases, that we can hear the sound of it but don’t know where it’s coming from or going to, we understand the words, but not the radically different world that gives them deepest meaning. The ancient Hebrew world was amazingly parallel to indigenous cultures today, and we can crawl through a window to that world most easily by looking at those cultures still alive now.

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In Hawai’ian, the word “ha” means breath, wind, and spirit all at the same time in just the way that Hebrew ruach and Aramaic ruha do. We can’t say them without making the sound of breath and wind, being connected to them. The Hawai’ian word “alo,” means in the presence of, so aloha means in the presence of breath, wind, spirit—a description of life. To the ancient Polynesians who first discovered the Hawai’ian islands on tiny koa canoes across thousands of miles of blue water, the incessant trade winds always blowing east to west were the breath of God that made life possible. We can’t understand Hebrew or Hawai’ian spirituality without understanding breath and wind and the culture that experienced life in breath. And if we don’t understand life in breath, how can we understand Jesus’ words? As we continue to prepare for our own Pentecost—a breakthrough to trust in unseen spirit experienced as a great wind rushing through the upper room of Jesus’ first followers—there are five principles of Hawai’ian spirituality that define their world, describe Jesus’ world, and can help us make sense of our own, help us learn to see the wind.
 

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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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