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Knowledge & News
Thought provoking topics and series, necessary news and information.
One of the things I've heard consistently, even back before Collective was Collective, was how hard it was to describe exactly what this is; to tell a friend what it's like to belong to this community, to participate our shared life. This makes it tough, as well, to explain precisely what it is we're supporting when we pledge the budget, and sustain Collective financially. Steve & Sharon's story does a great job of offering an example of what the pledge drive is really all about: their story, and the many others like it. This is what we make possible when we make Collective possible.
The first new release in our Collective Stories series. Steve and Sharon share their path and their depth of belonging at collective. Can you relate?
Dear Collective Community, Partners, and Supporters,
If you’re like Stacy and me, and many others who have found a place at Collective, you’ve struggled with these same frustrations and tensions. You may have tried a different church brand or music style, only to be disappointed with the same experience: Overbearing answers to questions you weren’t asking, simplistic-exclusive morality, and supernatural cliches that failed to address real life.
*THIS ARTICLE WAS UPDATED, DECEMBER 2016
The pledge drive gods have smiled upon us! John Oliver's critique of televangelism, coercive predatory religious appeals for money, and promises of healing and blessing, couldn't come at a better time. It helps highlight precisely what we're NOT doing. We're not making an appeal to give seed money so God will grow your portfolio, cure you, heal you, or bless you - nor are we asking for you to fund the $65million dollar G6 that Collective clearly needs for our global crusade.
In the second week of our Prodigal series, we flipped the traditional light reading of the story, and looked from the dark underside of tragedy. We came to know the prodigal as a failed attempt to change an unjust system, and differentiate from his controlling father. We read the Christ narrative in light of this radical-prodigal invitation to critique and transform oppressive, inhuman systems.
This week we began a journey through the story of the prodigal son from three different approaches. Owen Stricklin, pastor of our sponsoring congregation, FUMC, delivered the first part of the series, offering a more traditional reading. In addition to the wisdom we're gaining from each reading, we will keep in mind the larger truth that there is always more than one way to read and engage a story, to hear and receive truth, to bring ourselves to the text as it seeks to bring us into the story. We can all relate to feeling lost, to bottoming out, to feeling the emptiness and failure of extravagance to truly satisfy. And we also can relate to being surprised by a fresh perspective on a tired old narrative.
If you missed the intro to the 15 | 16 Collective Annual Pledge Drive, check out the video and transcript below. Ben leads us into thinking through support, sustainability and responsibility. Stay tuned for more updates, fun connections, and special opportunities to make a bigger impact in the coming days.
In place of our regular service, this informal Sunday gathering was a great opportunity for the Collective community to get to know itself. There have been so many new people, families, kids and community partners. When we play and eat and be together with no agenda, we come to truly know one another.
Last week we explored a story we'd never heard. This time we looked at a passage it is nearly impossible to avoid. "The Lord is my shepherd..." You know the rest. Whether from a funeral or from listening to Gangsta's Paradise. This is part of the problem. We can become so familiar with a text and its supposed meaning that we lose the ability to encounter it in fresh ways. This week, we aimed to do just that.
We are a misfit faith community that gathers in DeLand on Sundays at 5pm. Come as you are.
We value highly the metaphor of journey. We’re different people from different places and backgrounds, representing an intergenerational community, and we’ve traveled different paths. So, we agree not to make assumptions about the person across from us, next to us, or in conversation with us. We challenge ourselves to be sensitive, knowing this community includes a diverse group of people from life-long followers of Jesus, to people who are just now open to the idea that God might exist. We strive to avoid offense, ask good questions, articulate and explain our responses. We don’t assume fluency in bible, spirituality, or Church language, because we believe the message of Jesus is not for Christianity, but for humanity. So, we do everything in the spirit of love and grace.