The Convergence Community is creating relational space to EMBRACE STORY, MYSTERY, and COLLABORATION, to live out the Restorative Way of Jesus. We are a simple community trying to shape a live together that makes room for others and a growing and often changing faith.
While our MISSION is to collectively live out the restorative way of Jesus — we know that church often needs a reframing in order to see it’s value. Yes, we realize church isn’t valuable to many—and we’ve even struggled as a group to be confident that church can continue in it’s current (dominant) form. For us, church isn’t negotiable–but it must be un-learned (for those of us who are familiar with church) and re-imagined.
Do best reframe church—we need new metaphors. Church is not a building. Church is not a day or time. Church isn’t even a belief statement. We like to think about what church can be and ways we can live out the beauty of the church–but, by no means, do we capture all that church is in the three metaphors below.
Embracing story means to make room for and to graciously consider our own life, others lives, and the Big Story of life and God. Our lives are all unfolding stories. My story is unfinished, it’s broken, but it’s also saturated with beauty. To embrace story is to believe that everyone lives out a valuable story (not just focused on our own story). To embrace story is to also consider the larger, big story of all of creation and how it may be intertwined with our own. It often takes community life to help make room to embrace story.
On our own, we can immerse ourselves in our own story–becoming isolated and self-centered. Most of us need a “Copernicus Revolution” of sorts. We need aid in seeing that the world doesn’t revolve around ourselves. Community life can do this. The Convergence Community is made up of people that want to go move beyond our “ego-centered” universe and see others as worthy of love (“love your neighbor as yourself” in the words of Jesus) and worth listening to. We want to go through the conflicting process of even seeing enemies as no different than ourselves—with stories of brokenness and beauty (“love your enemies” again, in the words of Jesus).
Embracing story also means that we are continually considering the Grand Narrative of God – the Story found in the Bible and working through–TOGETHER–what that might mean for our lives. We believe that there is a bigger picture–whether we fully get it or not (and we don’t)–that speaks into our existence. We love this story–and many of us are trying to reorient ourselves around it. I say reorient, because so many of us have been familiar with the story since we were kiddos. Since the time of our introduction to the Story, life has happened to us, and we are trying to listen again, unlearn, and be open to the Story and how it shapes our lives.
We see through a glass darkly . . . the Convergence Community sees EMBRACING MYSTERY as the willingness to let things be a little blurry in life–a little undefined–which makes us more open and compassionate people.
When you think you have all the answers–how well do you listen?
When you are confident things are a certain way–how can you be teachable & mold-able?
Holding our views loosely doesn’t mean we shouldn’t believe something–it just means that maybe we should be willing and open to edit as we go through life. As we meet and suffer with others, as we are confronted with life circumstances and enemies and mysteries and chaos and others who don’t fit into our well polished lenses to view life. We let go of a need to control life and choose to be present within life.
Websters defines ‘collaborate’ as – to work jointly with others or together especially in an intellectual endeavor. How much does our life really involve collaboration? How often are we open to listening to others? Is the trajectory of our life affected–at all–by those around us, who love and care, and live out a shared life with us? What would it mean if we expanded that collaboration beyond the intellectual (but not excluding) to a collaboration of the spiritual/faith aspect of life? What about a collaboration of financial generosity? What about a collaboration of civic/city life?
As a community, we “embrace collaboration” believing that it’s a shared life that is the most full. It’s when we let others in our life and when we join others for a common way that we see so much more value in life. Collaboration is a value we all often resist. Let’s consider the dinner table. When asking others over – do you more willingly cook the entire dinner to “present” to your guests? OR do you invite them to bring a dish to combine with your offering?
Convergence eats together often. And, we most often make these meals a collaboration—a pot-luck. Why? We want a continual living picture of a shared life. We need others–others need us. Let’s give, receive, and embrace collaboration.
The language of “collaboration” invites us to remember that this community is shared – it matters that you are involved and what you bring to this group will always shape our direction. We are not a “ministry machine” that uses people to accomplish a certain goal. Collaboration means that the community is viable only as relationships are viable–not relationships for the sake of organization, but relationships period.
We bring together our unique passions, gifts, perspectives, and stories to shape the communityʼs direction in this unique time and place. As we come together–we build life together so we might be aware of God and respond to his invitation to love (the restorative way).