We aspire to be lead by the Holy Spirit moment to moment.
By living according to the following values, we believe we are developing a pure heart and tender conscience which will help us be more sensitive to the leading of the Spirit.
We do our best to encourage each other in living the following values consistently. We are constantly learning how to navigate the complicated waters of human relationships and our intention is to always keep in mind the question: Does this action contribute to the highest good of the other?
Empathy: We empathize with the suffering of all of life, and allow ourselves to grieve this suffering in various ways that help us remember and keep our intentions to serve strong in our hearts.
Spiritual Disciplines: We practice spiritual disciplines together and separately including prayer, fasting, scripture study, solitude, meditation, and keeping the Sabbath. Instead of striving to connect with God, as in trying to row a boat, we practice spiritual disciplines which are like sails which catch the wind of our Abba Father so we can more easily live according to the principles such as those we describe in this list.
Encouragement: We look for, dwell on, and tell each other as well as other people about qualities that are the fruits of the spirit including love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Gal. 5:22,23).
Transparency: We share our innermost thoughts and feelings. Those things which we are afraid to share with each other are the things that we bring up to the light of our friendship so nothing is hidden.
Authenticity: We regularly check in to make sure there are no walls or hidden places that can keep us apart.
Thoughtfulness: We identify the love languages of our community members and go out of our way to do those things which honor and please the other in small and big ways.
Mutual Support: We help each other identify and then achieve our heartfelt goals in ways that support our mission and vision.
Confidentiality: We hold confidential anything we are specifically asked to be confidential, and use discernment when sharing about each other's lives with others. However, our lives are open books, and we encourage each other to share what we find inspiring about each other with people we trust, including how we are overcoming weaknesses.
Relationship with God: We do everything we can to help each other have an ever-deeper relationship with our Abba Father, Jesus, and Holy Spirit.
Decision Making: Decisions are made by Consent. See more about this method of decision making here.
Loving, Effective Communication: We use Nonviolent Communication as taught by Marshall Rosenberg as one of the main models for inspiration. We make requests rather than demands. We do our best to explain our requests in ways the other person can make a wise decision whether or not to grant that request. We negotiate and find win-win solutions, listening to the voice of God weighing in on our discussion. We make observations, share feelings, express our needs and wants, and invite dialogue. Empathetic, or empathic, listening is one of the keys to success when it comes to understanding each other and resolving conflicts.
When we observe something a person is doing that could be considered hurtful to self or others, if we discern it necessary, we use nonviolent communication to tell the truth in love. This includes being ready with the tool of empathic listening so we can understand the other's point of view as well as demonstrate caring for the other, even in the midst of conflict. We also use this model to help our language be more accurate and connecting.
Trustworthiness: We keep our agreements. If we are unable to follow through, we negotiate a win-win solution.
Surrender to God: We surrender our lives to our Creator, to Jesus, and to Holy Spirit. We trust in a good, good Father who only wants the best for us.
Co-creation: We co-create with each other and with our Creator in all the things we need to do in order to live together in love, achieve our goals, and fulfill our vision.
Critical Creative Thinking: We encourage each other to utilize critical, creative thinking and are willing to gently challenge each other if someone is not thinking logically and/or clearly.