For we are The Practicing Church. We are a people on a journey. A people who desire to take the teachings of Jesus seriously. Not as something to add to our already busy, stressed out lives, but as a way of life. And we believe that this takes practice. That transformation doesn't happen by good intentions or osmosis but by practices that form us in the way of Jesus. And so we participate in communal practices, formational practices and missional practices that align our lives with the values of God's good, wise and loving kindom.
And in doing so, we experience transformation. In our own lives, we find we are on the inward journey to come home to God and to our true selves and the fullness of who we are created to be. In an age of anxiety and fragmentation, we cultivate spiritual practices that ground us in the love of God and become a sanctuary for our souls. And we find ourselves growing in faith, hope and love.
At the same time, we are invited to journey together. From the small and isolating individualism of our culture into the rich expansiveness of community. We are invited from scarcity to the abundance of the kindom, to be a part of something much bigger than ourselves. To invest our time, our energy and our resources on what matters most. Our small offering, just like the parable of the loaves and fishes, can then be blessed, broken and multiplied many times over as it is shared with the community.
This compels us on the journey outward from the captivity of consumerism into creating culture. We are called to join in the Spirit's work of reconciliation and healing in the world around us, in our neighborhoods, our schools and work places. We are called to participate in the work of justice, peacemaking and renewal. We are called to repent from our indifference, bias and pride to learn how to love our neighbor and our enemy, our brother and the stranger. To see the face of Jesus in the face of the poor.
As we continue to pray about our next move as a community, we keep this story in mind. For we believe it is a compelling story. One that is needed today in an age of anxiety, fragmentation and division. For we need practices that offer us a path home. Like the Hero's Journey, we will need to leave the known world for the adventure of the unknown, to engage a wider world, to encounter trials, to face the enemies of our soul, to discover new strengths, and to ultimately die to our false selves only to to be reborn. To find wholeness and shalom with ourselves, God and others.
Join us this week as we collectively dream, envision and reimagine what it means to be the church! Add your voice, your creativity and your passion to our unfolding story!
by Jessica Ketola