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Knowledge & News
Thought provoking topics and series, necessary news and information.
Mine and Jon’s journey with Collective first began in the fall of 2013 when we were still broke newlyweds, long before we had the financial stability to give financially to Collective. Despite that we couldn’t donate in those early years, we have always felt like we were full members of the community.
We value, we’re different, we’ve traveled, we don’t make assumptions, we strive to avoid offense, we don’t assume, we believe, we do everything in the spirit of love and grace.
Lot’s of we in our Community Statement. We’re striving to live up to this community statement, this vision of our communal identity and way of being together, and so it’s the responsibility of this same WE to sustain and nurture it.
This week has been an absolute gift. Not easy. Beautiful and tragic, in fact. But a gift.
As we’ve prepared for, and gotten into the pledge drive, I’ve been asking for, listening to, and curating stories from people about why Collective matters to them, what it means to them, and why they are willing to support it financially.
Lemme say, I’m a fan of serendipity. And it could be one of those things like, “When you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”, or “What you seek you will find.” But I have a sense that there’s more going on here. I think there’s something in the air. There is a life and energy in what we’re doing that is bigger than us. We are caught up in something, of which Collective is a particular, local, and incredibly important expression.
In addition to the stories I’ve been seeking out, this week provided an onslaught of stories that moved me in extraordinary ways. A few of these stories are connected to people who give to Collective, but most of them aren’t. These stories reminded me how important this work is.
I am a 39 year old dad who struggled for 14 years seeking (with God) to change my same-sex orientation. I tried everything in the book, from reparative therapy, to ex-gay conferences, countless failed attempts in search of a church community that could understand my journey and respect it. Then, ultimately, I married a woman, believing change would come the moment I said I DO. This all lead me to a moment where, for the first time in my life, I questioned my existence, but thank God I found the right therapist at the right time.
Peter, Angela & Joe did a great job of sharing what Collective means to them, the important things our budget makes possible, and the special community we share, where we live and invest in our values.
For the next six weeks, as we do each year, we talk about the pledge drive and the importance of financial sustainability. Then we don’t say much more about it. We pledge the budget, then we go put it to work. In the coming weeks you’ll hear stories from Collective folks about why they give and what that means to them - in services, blog posts, emails. We’ll remind ourselves why this work is good, and important, and sacred. And, we’ll remind ourselves that it isn’t free. The best things in life aren’t. So lemme set us up a bit of a foundation, a baseline for our pledge drive.
Note: The following “review,” contains spoilers and is intended for those who have already seen the film and desire a more thought provoking engagement with the film. That being said, this article is more of a commentary and/or analysis than it is a conventional review. In no way does this article offer an exhaustive analysis of the film that completes and ends all conversation about the film’s meaning. Rather, the author’s intention is to inspire further commentary and critique in the readership as a means of continuing the ongoing interaction between film and theory. Once more, if you have not seen this film, we do not recommend that you read this article.
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.
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