Our starting place is the belief that God is smitten with us just as we are in all our delightful complexity – wounded and strong, beautiful and broken, fickle and faithful, gifted and growing. We don’t have to change for God to love us; God’s love for and in us is what empowers us to change.
We hunger to be known and loved in this way, first and foremost by God, and also by one another. So we are invited to come as we really are, to meet and accept others as they really are. We make space for questions and doubt, as well as faith, for struggle and confusion, as well as clarity, for stumbling and wrong turns, as well as forward movement. Turns out, it’s much easier to connect in our messiness and vulnerability than under the pretences we’ve got it all together.
While we are loved beyond measure by a trustworthy and faithful God, we are forgetful and fickle. We are faithfully unfaithful in the relationship. We need help remembering Whose we are. We need practice to stay open, attentive and faithful to God’s love and movement in our lives.
We need to move beyond thinking and talking about God to actually experiencing God. Our minds, as helpful as they can be, can also get in the way, keeping us stuck in self-centered patterns. With contemplative practice, we are seeking to drop below our typical thought and feeling patterns, to rest in and surrender to God’s presence and movement in our lives. Over time, we believe this practice has a deep healing and transforming effect, shaping us into the likeness of Christ.
We are part of a long, magnificent lineage of spiritual seekers, women and men seeking to understand and live in relationship with God. Though our contexts differ, we have much to learn from the lives and writings of those who have gone before us and from contemporary teachers. We seek nourishment and guidance through the regular reading and reflection on scripture and others texts of sacred significance from throughout the Christian tradition, not just one denominational slice of it. While the Christian tradition is our primary source of inspiration, we also believe there is great wisdom and truth to be gleaned from the world’s other great religious traditions.
We are blessed to be blessing, healed to be wounded healers, transformed to be agents of transformation in this world God loves. Welcomed as beloved, nourished by wisdom, shaped by practice, we then live our faith in practical ways, in our daily lives, in the circles of family and friends, work and service in which we participate. While specific, focused activities together give us a sense of this, we see all of life as a “service project”, the whole world as a “mission field.” We are called to imitate Christ daily through compassionate, non-violent presence and action in every encounter, every situation, every place we find ourselves.