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We Believe...

    

Published 2019-08-23


Help Wanted

 

We Believe

It’s important to start by making it clear that we’re not the ones who have “finally gotten  this whole faith thing figured out.” We are simply and powerfully drawn to the love of the Trinity (the Creating, Redeeming, Sustaining God; traditionally Father, Son and Holy Spirit) made most real in the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. Though to be fully honest, we don’t often do especially well following them. 

So we are experimenting, and sometimes failing, and building a church that collectively follows the Way of Jesus.  Although we don’t always agree, the one thing we are certain of is that the Way of Jesus is first and last loving and being loved, so we are trying hard to build a community of love and hope that is a blessing to God, our neighbors and each other. 

We also agree this kind of community of love and hope is what the world most needs at this transitional moment in our history.  And we think the world is tired of religious people who claim to believe a list of ideas when those very ideas don’t translate into any kind of personal or communal transformation. Plus, we see belief as a dynamic lived out in our real lives, which doesn’t translate well into a few paragraphs on a website.

The Way of Jesus’ love is a lifestyle of holistic healing for individuals, families, neighborhoods, nations and the earth.  It is a gift from God, which comes with some assembly required.   To follow Jesus’ Way is to trust the Spirit’s leading down a countercultural road of limitless forgiveness, radical acceptance, nonviolent peacemaking, abundant generosity, vital worship, compassion for the Creation, searching prayer, sacrificial love and quiet joy. 

Salvation is not a reward for filling in the right theological answers on a final exam or even good behavior, but salvation is the word that best describes the experience of God in an ongoing covenantal relationship of loving others and ourselves because we are first loved by God.  So faith is not even about finally understanding, it is about union with God, which simply ‘is’ because of Jesus. 

As a community of Jesus’ followers on the Way of love, we welcome all persons who are willing to have more questions than answers and who feel called to accept Jesus’ invitation to journey with us.   In fact all God’s children, regardless of race, ethnicity, age, gender identity, political affiliation, physical or mental capacity, education, sexual orientation, nationality, socioeconomic or marital status or previous faith experience are encouraged to join us as we find the Way together.

The above is a draft of what I am hoping to eventually put on the “We Believe” section of the Pine Ridge website.  I am asking for help.  Is it true?  Is it inspiring?  What’s missing? What would you change?   Please read it over, think and pray about it and let me know what you think at jgordon@pineridge.org

 

 

 

 


 

 




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