community

In the Company of Others

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In this fifth and final teaching in our “Reconstructing Faith” series, Leah considers the benefits and challenges to navigating faith with others in spiritual community. Kim D. also shares some of her story regarding deconstructing and reconstructing faith alongside others, beginning at minute 5:30.

Listen to the teaching below or check out Leah’s notes here.

Sacred Community: Belonging to One Another

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On the first Sunday of the year, Leah shared the invitation she is sensing form God to consider this a year of "re-form"ing, both in terms of our own identities as human beings, citizens, and people of faith, as well as a "re-form"ing of our community at Haven. She shared a picture of the Haven community as a grove of trees, some of which look mismatched, but which are being carefully chosen and tended to by God, as they grow into an organized system, whose roots are intertwined, and which nourish one another as they grow.

In this two week series, Leah will be considering how even in an age where many suffer spiritual PTSD, and fear the abuses of religious institutions, there is still a profound power in gathering regularly with fellow spiritual sojourners. Please join us as we consider the importance of belonging in Sacred Community, and how we can experience more of it at Haven.

Listen to the teaching below or review Leah's notes here.

Advent 3: Joy Coming to Loneliness

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Advent is Latin for "coming" and has traditionally been understood by the church as a time to prepare our hearts, spirits, and minds for the remembrance of Jesus' first coming at Christmas, as well as the coming we look ahead to. This year, Leah will be asking what it means in this present moment, the Bay Area in late 2017, to experience God's "coming" in practical terms, along with the gifts that coming brings.

This third Sunday of Advent, Leah considers the traditional gift reflected in the first Sunday of Advent: the gift of Joy. What did "joy" mean to the writers of the Bible? What was it connected to? How was it expressed? And how might Jesus' coming connect with this concept and joy and give us an invitation to connection, particularly in a world marked by loneliness.

Review Leah's notes here or listen to the teaching below.

What We Mean By...Safe

Is safety a Jesus-centered value? If so, what might that mean? How might it impact the way we gather? In this teaching, Leah explores the third of three Haven core values and invites the community to consider how it might live further into becoming a safe spiritual home for all. And she gets there considering sheep, of all things.

Review the notes or listen to a recording of this teaching here.

Together With Immigrants

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What did Jesus mean when he encouraged his followers to "welcome the stranger"? How might that encouragement inform our own perspective on the welcome of vulnerable immigrants in our communities, particularly in a time when those immigrants are at heightened risk? As our guest preacher Pastor Tita Valeriano shares, "Hospitality is not just about opening our door and being nice until they leave our house. For Christ, it is truly more than that."

Listen below for more of Tita's words on Jesus' view of hospitality and the implications of "Celebrate Together" on our inclusion of immigrants.

Together with Our Neighbors

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"How might our faith open up helpful connections with our neighbors? (Like…our literal neighbors. Or our coworkers. The people we shop next to at Berkeley Bowl….) How might Jesus be inviting us to think about the places we actually inhabit and our connections to them?"

In this teaching, Leah invites us to think about life in our local communities, outside of church. Read the notes or listen below as she explores how an encouragement to the people of God in the Hebrew Bible, might have resonance for us today.

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