Dave Brisbin 11.24.19
In the run up to Thanksgiving, we take a pause to ask if anyone knows who established Thanksgiving as a national holiday in the first place. Our thoughts tend to go back to Pilgrims and Native Americans collaborating, but it was surprising to most that it was Abraham Lincoln, in the midst of the Civil War, who instituted Thanksgiving. This is ironic on two fronts: that Thanksgiving was born in the middle of the darkest period in American history, and born of Lincoln, a man of near constant depression at the most stressful time in his life. What allowed Lincoln, as he put it in his Thanksgiving proclamation, to see the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies, and the continued beauty of the land and its people outside the theater of conflict?

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And how did he continue to acknowledge the divine source of that beauty and fullness in spite of his own personal loss and that of the country? Gratitude is an amazing thing. People choose to embrace or not, it seems, based on their ability to see gifts all around them that they could never have given themselves. And even as they work hard to earn their way through life, entitlement never takes permanent residence in their hearts as they come to understand that though we may rearrange the furniture, the house is still a gift beyond our imagination.

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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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