Rhythms & Practices
Rhythms are regular activities and within the life of our community for the gathered congregation. They are critical to who we are as a vibrant congregation, so we cultivate them through our structure, inviting those who are part of the church to participate in these rhythms together on an ongoing basis.
Liturgy is our primary weekly rhythm. We gather on Sundays to come around the Lord’s table, reminded that at the center of who we are, and primary to the Christian story, is Jesus’ work on the cross and the resurrection that is still happening. We sing, pray, and reflect together as a means to remember and re-enter the story together. We come both to give what we can offer to others and receive what others have to offer us.
For those who have spent much of their life in the church, fellowship is a tired old word that might have so many meanings that it no longer has any. But the true meaning is full of richness and beauty, describing a community of kinfolk marked by the rich relationships of those journeying alongside one another. We create physical and temporal spaces throughout the week for people to come together in small or medium sized groups to enter into one another’s stories. We listen, we risk, we encourage, and we pray together. We gather to ask together the questions of discipleship:
* What is God inviting me into?
* What am I doing to respond to that invitation?
A healthy Christian community will look both inward and outward, moving toward one another in fellowship while also being sent out together to demonstrate the Kingdom of God. We are called to seek the peace and prosperity of our local and global neighbors, and work alongside them for the good of all. We curate an awareness of what is broken around us, and we move into those spaces together. We build times into our monthly community rhythms to serve together, both in smaller groups and as a congregation. We form relationships with organizations that we can come alongside to learn about needs in our community and about how to best respond to them.
Our Practices shape who we long to be as we are dispersed throughout the week. If our Rhythms are what we cultivate, then our Practices are what we celebrate. As a congregation we teach and tell stories about these practices in order to incorporate them into each of our lives. They won’t appear on a church calendar but they are very much part of how we live in common with one another.
We remember the Sabbath as a regular practice of rest, celebration and connection with God and creation. We set aside days, hours, and moments for unlabor, to depart from work and be reminded that our primary sustenance comes not through our doing, but through the ongoing creative work of a good and loving God. This is, perhaps, our most prophetic practice to a culture obsessed with doing and accomplishing. We believe that the Gospel is best shared by a community living alternative stories of the Kingdom of God, and we see Sabbath as a way to pull the Kingdom of God from the not yet to the now.
We give of ourselves and create space for Others, for those who are not part of our congregation. We move toward those who aren’t like us, not with an agenda, but with an understanding that all are made in the image of God, and we can learn about the nature and character of God from all. We live with margin, intentionally inviting others into the time and space that we have to see how God might be at work in these relationships.
As those created in the image of God, we are most human when we are reflecting the nature and character of God. Primary to God’s nature is the ongoing work of creation, selfless giving of new life motivated out of love. For each of us, there is a vocation that matches our unique mix of giftings and passions with who God created us to be. As we listen to God and self, we learn our vocation, move into it to offer our fullest presence to the world. It may be within a career, or it may be alongside it, but we recognize our primary work is defined by who God has called us to be, not by what we do.