Getting Started: A Movement for a Beloved Community
There are people in every community who will take action to promote God’s loving kingdom on earth. People taking a stand for the most vulnerable among us and articulating their views with total respect for the opposing side. That’s a force for good. We need people like that..
We envision a just, inclusive, and beloved community that affirms the worth and potential of every person … A community where every person’s basic needs for belonging, housing, food, education, equality, safety, and transportation — are met.
We want to collaborate with community residents, front-line social service agencies, key stakeholders and other faith communities to work toward solving complex social problems; and engage people across differences to find common ground.
Partner with us. Because God calls every one of us — beloved.
Vision: Taking Flight
Having guiding principles and a vision will only get us so far — How do we go about making a reimagined church or ministry take flight?
We’re not sure — but, we’ve come across what looks like a good place to start. We're using a model from the Center for Progressive Renewal for our work. We believe when we open ourselves to the movement of the Spirit, we are energized by:
o A faith which is sent out.
o Leading that’s rooted in affirmation and sacrificial love.
o God’s presence as we seek deeper understandings and wisdom.
o The re-weaving of relational connections.
Journey of Faith, like many churches today, is in the midst of figuring out where God is calling us and we’re willing to share what we learn. So, join us as we embrace something exciting and transformative as it emerges.
Mission: A Powerful Force for Change
While Ann Arbor is consistently named one of the best places to live in the U.S. — surrounding cities in the county know a different reality. Their numbers reveal segregation in job opportunities, health, income, and education.
We believe the “Church” can emerge again as a powerful force for change, opportunity and justice for everyone. Powerful movements require the involvement and support of all sectors with an interest in a radically different society.
We exist to create the beloved community where we live.
It's “why” we're doing what we do. It drives how we do the work and what we want as an outcome of our work. Sometimes, you have to create what you want to be a part of. If you want to be a part of something bigger than yourself, contact us.
What We Value: Faith
We're still here, that Church who loves justice. This is a story of how faith can inspire the greatest movements. We have to confess, though, "faith" has also been at the center of unrepentant acts — we have to be honest about that.
In this time, we're being asked: to confront the unjust moments of these days; to ground ourselves in God (whatever name you call that higher power or thing greater than yourself); and to trust in a wisdom we can't fully understand.
In a beloved community, everyone can be unafraid of scarcity. We can rejoice in sharing our abundance. And, God’s merciful love is extended to everyone. At it's heart, faith can be both a principle of action and a powerful force for good.
Respond to God's call for hope, justice, and action.
What We Value: Sharing Our Resources
Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. — Timothy 6:17
We’re looking to pull together a coalition of small churches with common ministries who are willing to share their resources and help one another meet their mission goals.
It serves us well when we see other churches as members of an even larger team. And, it’s helpful to remember whose team we’re really on. We believe it’s beneficial and beautiful for local churches to be a model for reconciliation across ethnic, cultural, and social lines.
Here’s an example of what we’re looking to do by sharing our resources. In any case, it’s all about operating from a perspective of abundance instead of scarcity. It’s what can happen when all of us share what we have with others.
Become a part of a family that shares, contact us.
What We Value: A Faithful Presence
The stories people tell about the volunteer work in the Daytime Warming Center have a common theme. The ministry has been a journey into understanding how God has given us a way to bear witness to what he is doing in the world.
God is seeking to fully dwell with humanity. Our service is about making space for God's presence to work — in and among and through us. David Fitch talks about being present for God's presence. "In taking my attention off myself, putting it on the other person and asking God to reveal himself — it feels like love to me."
God's love of everyone is what we should take with us everywhere we go. That’s the place God promises to be present. It's where we submit all of our divisions, biases and personal agendas to God's presence.
Join us to offer a gift of presence and love to others.
What We Value: Diversity, Inclusion & Equity
We believe each member of our community should have the opportunity to thrive in his or her environment. We believe that diversity, equity and inclusiveness are key to all people flourishing.
U-M's Chief Diversity Officer, Dr. Robert Sellers describes the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion this way: "Diversity is where everyone is invited to the party. Equity means that everyone gets to contribute to the playlist. And inclusion means that everyone has the opportunity to dance."
This is one of the most preeminent issues of our time. Being free to be who you are … Having a seat at the table … Belonging to a community that embraces you. These things matter to people.
Diversity, equity and inclusion really need to be at the heart of who we are — because it’s at the core of a beloved community. We shouldn't settle for anything less.
We welcome your participation in this effort, please feel free to contact us.
What We Value: Organizing From the Bottom Up
People most affected by a problem are in a good position to help determine the best solutions. Grassroots, constituent-led organizing is among the most effective means to create social change.
We define organizing as collective action from the bottom up that challenges the status quo; demands changes in policy and practice; educates communities about root causes; advocates and agitates for systemic changes and just solutions.
Lasting change occurs when movements are built from the ground up and groups come together across constituencies and sectors to work for the common good.
What We Value: Leadership
We're using two leadership approaches to address problems that stubbornly persist. The first approach involves using an adaptive framework to drive systematic change in an increasingly complex world, particularly when there are no easy answers. This approach focuses on mobilizing people to experiment, explore new ideas, and even "learn" their way to new solutions, collectively.
The second approach is grounded in a desire to serve. The focus is on making sure other people’s highest priority needs are being met. Every solution and action is evaluated by its impact on the least privileged in society — will they benefit or at least not be further deprived?
There are many ways to be a leader. We feel these approaches may work best for both our leaders and teams.
Contact us to help lead efforts to solve tough problems in new ways.
What We Value: Followership
We like the concept and significance of the “first follower.” We know leadership is important, but the idea of “followership,” in particular, is crucial to an organization’s effort to gain ground.
In 1980, about 20% of work being done was team-based; that has shifted to over 90% in 2016 — largely because the work has become more complex.
Leadership is important in generating value within an organization. However, the follower is the main determinant of both effective projects and long-term success.
The obligation to challenge lies with the good follower. Good followers provide a level of independent thinking and must have the moral courage to express concerns. Good leaders are only half-the-story, the other half are good followers.
Follow the leader and contact us.
What We Value: Everyone's Gift
There’s a lot of mystery that seems to surround spiritual gifts. But, Stephen Altrogge writes: "... determining your spiritual gifts is incredibly simple and requires only two questions:"
The first question ... What am I good at?
If you’re good at something that’s probably your spiritual gift. That's a pretty simple formula. You can read the Bible's Book of Romans 12:6-8 to identify your spiritual gifts. too
The second question ... What do other people say you're good at?
Altrogge further notes, "God also uses others to confirm our spiritual gifts. If you have zero idea what your gifts might be, ask your friends, 'What am I good at? God wants to use every ordinary life to build up the lives of others.”
It’s not complex. It’s not mysterious or mystical. There's nothing like the experience of the joy and fulfillment that comes with doing the good works God created for each one of us to do."
(Excerpts from "The Only Spiritual Test You'll Ever Need" by Stephen Altrogge)
Contact us to share your gifts with others.
Time for One Last Thing
Dr. King’s compelling vision of a beloved community recognizes that "we're all interconnected and our individual well-being is inextricably linked to the well-being of others." There’s work to be done, though. The clarion call to hatred and intolerance has been loud, clear, and bold. The road to a beloved community is a difficult road of reconciliation.
Bryan Loritts writes: "It's time to become a diverse, reconciled church to lead us to a faithful future — deeper and truer to who we're called by God to be." That's the beloved part.
We have to be willing to empower others even when it costs us something. The Church is being called to respond in solidarity to the travesty of poverty, injustice and conflict. That's the community part.
The Beloved Community is a vision and guide to help us fulfill the best version of ourselves. It is both the path and the goal.
Contact us to help make Jesus’ beloved community one real and lasting thing.
Our vision of service and action are centered on several guiding principles; the things that guide what we say, do and how we behave. These are the things we value:
o God’s love
o The movement of the Spirit
o The power of the Church and faith
o Sharing our resources
o Being present with one another
o Diversity, equity, and inclusion
o Grassroots organizing
o Leading and following as servants
o Celebrating the giftedness of everyone
o The hope of a reconciling and diverse Church