“Let us ask Him to make us true in our love, to make us sacrifical beings, for it seems to me that sacrifice is only love put into action.” -Elizabeth of the Trinity
Our shared life is rich with time spent together, from worship to retreats in the redwoods to birthday parties and backyard barbecues to that staple of community life: meetings. The days, weeks and months take on the rhythm of our gatherings and celebrations, and we learn that time is sacred as we live the seasons of the Christian Year.
“Community” is cliché. We try to make community real by sharing time (a common calendar), space (most of us live with others), money and resources (we have a way of pooling our money, and share cars and other possessions), and decisions (we invite input from others).
We recognize that our primary ministry is to welcome people into the body of Christ, and hospitality is one of the best ways of fulfilling our call. We practice that though providing emergency housing, welcoming those interested in church community, hosting our friends and family and children, and welcoming one another as beloved children of God.
Our goal of living in unity and love is not for ourselves, but for the sake of the world. Many of us choose paid or volunteer work that seeks to serve others. We work in prisons, inner-city schools, adoption services, health care, and organizations such as Rebuild South Sudan. As a church we do a monthly offering of service to our neighborhood.
We realize that we don’t have life “mapped.” We need a constant conversation with God to live out of God’s love and power, and to do God’s will. We practice it through morning prayer in our households, we interweave our meetings with it, and devote time to individual prayer.
Rather than practicing Sabbath in order to work more productively, we work in order to enter into what Abraham Heschel called “a palace in time.” On Sunday mornings we set aside three hours to meditate, pray, read Scripture, and enjoy God. Each person and family seeks to make our Sundays a day that is not focused on work or to-do lists but to rest and be restored, to spend time with people or in creation, to shake off the distractions of our work-obsessed culture and make space for God. Later in the day, we close out the Sabbath with gathered worship.
As “sojourners in the land” we realize that in order to survive and not be assimilated, we need to be especially diligent in the study of Scripture, theology, and the traditions of the church. We have a weekly Bible study time together and encourage each other toward the practice of study in our personal lives.
We want to live lives that revel in, reverence, enjoy, praise, celebrate, glorify, honor, and thank our God. We ask God to increase our passion for worship—knowing that as we grow in worship, we step into deeper joy, and become more honestly alive. We gather weekly to worship, and try to see all of life as an opportunity to worship God with our bodies.
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Here are some of the ways we try to live out our values.