Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Portals To The Welcome Table Church

A Variety of Portals and Welcome Statements About The Welcome Table Church. Free Universalist Christian Missional Community. see also

Following the radical Jesus in deeds not creeds; though we may gain much wisdom from the historic creeds, we are not bound by them. Join us in service to our community throughout the week. That is the primary way we become church. Our Welcome Table of Worship is open to all who welcome all, regardless of belief or denomination, race, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical abilities, economic status, or political affiliations. We don’t think Jesus would have it any other way.

Free because God works in freedom so we are non-creedal. We don’t give theological tests for admission, but encourage you to test us and try us to see if this way is for you. Universalist because we believe God is Love and All who abide in Love abide in God, and God’s love is for all for all time. Christian because the generous compassionate way and story of Jesus, is our primary pathway opening up to God. Missional because we are sent to serve others more than ourselves, building up God’s beloved community more than our own, putting our time talent and treasure more into the world than into our own organization. Community because we are made not to be autonomous individuals but to be a people of God.

We are a simple church, but it can be a deep struggle to live toward true freedom, to practice God’s love for all, to follow the liberating Jesus who was crucified for his radical ways of hospitality and justice, to live for and serve others more than self, and to put community first. We invite those who wish to struggle with us, to fail with us, and to continue struggling with us. Worship gatherings and common meal are our times to refresh our spirits for the service of God.

Here is a rewrite of the principles from The Center for Progressive Christianity, signalling our approach to religion.

1. The radically loving and liberating Jesus is central to our community's experience of God.
2. Jesus isn't the only way to experience God. It is good to let other experiences of God into our lives.
3. Communion is the way we worship, and is about God's welcome table for all, and our committment to a life of hospitality and justice throughout the week.
4. We will worship and work with anyone toward creating a just and more loving world; we don't give theological tests for being with us.
5. How we live in love deepens and reveals our faith more than our particular beliefs do. We honor the uncertainty, and change, of beliefs, but also the risk of committment.
6. Freedom is rooted in community, not in individual likes and dislikes, and must be nurtured in community.
7. We are called to resist evil done against Creation and against all of the most vulnerable, and must look to our own blessings and privileges of life that are contributing to injustice.

The Covenanted Community, adapted and extended from Tich Nhat Hanh:
1. We show up.
2. We pay atttention
3. We speak truth in love
4. We stay focused on mission, and flexible on how to accomplish it
5. When we fail at 1 through 4, We show up.

The five smooth stones, adapted and altered from James Luther Adams and several sources:
1. Truth and meaning is ever being revealed anew, but this can mean also finding truth and meaning in forgotten or neglected or discarded ways.
2. Our relationships rest on mutuality and free consent and persuasion, not coercion.
3. Our committments are aimed at a just community.
4. Goodness must be incarnated in life if it is to be real.
5. We acknowledge the power of evil but believe hope and love and an abundant Universe are ultimate.

The Three R's of Christian Community Development:
1. Relocate to the abandoned places of Empire (or remain, or return)
2. Redistribute goods and The Good
3. Reconcile peoples who are divided, broken, separate.

The Four Paths of Missional Church: World, We, I, God
1. First, Scatter out into the world beyond ourselves and Serve others. We are Sent People because God is a Sending God.
2. As we do the first, next Grow loving community, in order to do the first path more fully, and to reflect that God is always a Relational God.
3. Then focus on Growing Your Soul, in one's heart, mind, body, and spirit. The more we grow personally the more we have to give along the second path of community.
4. Finally, Respond with Worship: Gather together in Gratitude for being able to walk the first three paths and for the Renewal of self needed to sustain our walk with God found in all of these paths.

The Six Spiritual Practices of our Missional Community
1. Pray daily
2. Worship at least weekly.
3. Check in spiritually with another at least monthly
4. Go on Retreat at least annually.
5. Commit to going on a once in a lifetime pilgrimmage.
6. Practice random acts of kindness and beauty daily.

The 3 Characteristics of an Emerging Church
1. Focus on the life of Jesus.
2. Blur the artificial boundaries and places of the secular and the spiritual
3. Live in Community.

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