Values Statement

Our core values seek to articulate a new story of what faith is and what faith can do: invoke a Creator God who weaves together art, science, justice and wonder for the good of all. This is a living document, and it will continue to evolve along with our Collective in a spirit of growth and humility. 

The values stated below are not ordinal–no one is more important than the others, but all are held together in an even weave.

  • Spirituality & Science in Kinship: Science and spirituality are often perceived or portrayed as contradictory, but we understand them as synergistic allies. The presence of doubt and questions are intrinsic to both scientific and spiritual endeavors. Curiosity keeps us in pursuit of new revelations. A growing body of scientific data affirms the value of spiritual formation in children’s lives across their stages or seasons of development. Faith and science work in harmony to give us the widest possible perspective and the freshest, most enduring truths.
  • Justice & Compassion: Compassion (suffering-with) and justice for all are fundamental moral values that lead to a dynamic peace and well-being for families and their wider communities, whatever their race, culture, religion, gender and orientation, abilities, citizenship, health or economic status.
    • Children today are growing up in a world where difference too often leads to division, or where calls to unity imply a requirement of sameness. 
    • Alternatively, in the vision of Beloved Community, diversity enriches community. People divergent in race, language, ethnicity, culture, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, and other identities have much to teach each other.
    • Beloved community is the fruit of nonviolent, compassionate engagement across historical markers of difference. Healthy diversity is evident in mutual respect, curiosity, epiphany, appreciation, and a one-another-ness that seeks to decenter the dominant culture. 
    • Language can build and include, or polarize and alienate. We will be intentional in the language we use to ensure it is broadly understood, inclusive, active and in tune with children, our community and spiritual values. 
    • We aim in all of our doings for equity across all categories, particularly in a season when the rights of whole groups of people are being legally and systematically abridged after centuries of fighting for their rights to survive and thrive.
    • We seek to understand how oppressive systems that are the opposite of God’s intentions for our life together contribute to human and earthly suffering, and to teach and model for our children how we might create and participate in alternative systems marked by mutual good
    • We strive to create brave space for belonging so no one has outsider status. We follow in the way of Jesus, the teacher who somehow held together as one community people of very different economic statuses, occupations, reputations, ages and more. 
  • The Earth & Humanity: We hope to model a way of being together in the world in which the human family lives sustainably with each other and within the larger ecosystem of Creation.
    • The Collective will operate sustainably with respect to the Earth as our common home, working to repair relationship with the Creation and protect the entire Creation, with particular attention to the most vulnerable who are affected inequitably by human apathy, greed and the climate crisis born of them.
    • This Collective will adhere to the current wisdom about carbon-neutral practices.
    • This Collective will be a non-profit entity, seeking to provide needed resources to all who need them, regardless of ability to pay. 
    • This Collective will compensate artists, writers, counselors, other resource-creators and service providers fairly for labor expended in the service of this endeavor, and will amplify the voices of talented creators who have hitherto been on the margins. All creative providers will retain rights to their work.
    • This Collective will operate in a spirit of collaboration rather than competition, in hopes of building a sustainable network of creative providers. We will ensure that our compensation schedule recognizes economic disparities that impact different community members.
  • Attraction not Coercion, Expansion not Polarization: We seek to project a vision of family life and human living that is positive, attractive, integrated, substantial, healing, and forward-leaning, and that liberates all people from harmful patterns of the past and present. We know there are opposing movements and interests at work in the world that do great harm. Even as we articulate and promote our own vision, we seek to do so in a creative spirit that is invitational, non-violent and humane, because ultimately we hope to influence and “call in” rather than alienate those with competing visions. We aim to curate a diversity of open but distinctly Christian, creative and liberating worship forms to nourish the spiritual lives of current seekers, and reach 
  • Mystery, Awe and Beauty: We have good reason, given the challenges of the world we live in, to be anxious and afraid. As a core practice of healthy spirituality, we continually find healing & hope in bathing in awe and beauty: spending time in nature, noticing ordinary miracles, being curious about that which we don’t understand without seeking hidebound answers, adopting a posture of awe toward all that is and is still becoming. We celebrate children’s natural sense of wonder, letting them remind us to be delighted by all that is hilarious, paradoxical, joyful and wondrous.

In our early discussions, the following values were likewise articulated, which may find their way into the final form of our platform:

  • Model radical welcome, hospitality and inclusion: “Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance.” (Verna Myers)
  • Include in our audience the widest circles of caring for our young ones (multigenerational and non-biological family, teachers, mentors, pastors, church aunties, et alia): because there is no such thing as other people’s children
  • Fostering “Gen We” within the congregation, with words and actions for bridging the gaps of generational differences
  • Take different approaches (cultural, denominational, high church, low church, people of all faiths/no faith) to reading and interpreting the Bible
  • Include parents who are unsure about their own spirituality and beliefs in the conversation and doing the necessary translation for them
  • Root ourselves in a wise, humble and expansive Christian faith that understands and builds bridges to other faith traditions
  • Address faith deconstruction, spiritual harm and religious abuse
  • Address the exhaustion and disorientation of parents/caregivers in an economy that pays lip service to “self-care” but actively undermines basic sabbath practices
  • Address racialized trauma and the entanglement of Christianity with white supremacy 
  • Recognize that it is difficult for people with different trauma stories to relate to one another, and likewise we commit to:
  • Engage in deep listening, including entertaining dynamic and healthy conflict, because we can disagree and still love one another
  • Leverage the power of cooperation, collaboration, mutual aid and chosen family vs. the power of capitalism and its pillars of patriarchy, militarism, white supremacy and wealth hoarding
  • Model financial transparency