Sailing together starts with a launch and opens up new destinations
6 basic ways to keep in step with the Spirit
Step into the dialogue
For us “dialogue” is definitely a verb. It is the place where a spark is lit and a movement sensed. Our deepest dialogue is between each of us and God in the silence upon which we build our prayer. But that constant spiritual conversation is also between all of us. We each carry the Spirit of Jesus, so when we get together things happen: revelation, discernment, reconciliation and healing.
▧ Your are invited into many places for dialogue:
- The cells and Sunday meetings specialize in spiritual conversation
- The pastors and their team of Cell Leaders with their Coordinators are all eager to listen. Here’s where you can find them.
- Our listservs provide for dialogue is various ways.
- The Covenant members have a listserv to which everyone can post.
- Each congregation has a listserv to which a cell leader can post for you.
- The whole church maintains the Share list to which we post opportunities or needs however we choose.
- The Parents have a listserv to offer encouragement to each other and to help figure out how to raise their children as a village.
- A compassion or mission team might maintain a listserv about their cause: like the Peace List, a Facebook Page, or their own website or blog.
- Our yearly map making process is an invitation to everyone to offer their discernment to the church’s dialogue about our heart and our future.
- All our meetings are open meetings. We do not have any secret or exclusive meetings. So you are free to come to any team training or leadership team meeting as you choose.
Gain a foundation for spiritual formation
Spiritual formation begins from the first word a child hears about God and the first conviction a self-reflective teenager has about sin and salvation. It is not best done in group or alone; it is best done all day, wherever the Spirit is leading. We have an ever-forming collection of guidance for how to get started and how to keep going on your basic spiritual formation in Christ. Please check out our Guide to Spiritual Formation and Spiritual Direction and talk it over with someone you trust.
2PROAPT is a Bible study method we like. It helps you meditate on bite-sized portions of the Bible and apply what you have learned.
▧ One Year Bible Online
Read the Bible in a year. There are many versions of taking fifteen minutes a day to explore the whole Bible. Here is one that uses a new translation and offers the journey as a chronological one.
▧ Our pastors’ teaching
The pastors, and other speakers, offer a message each week at our Sunday meetings. You can access recordings of them here.
They also supply brief and stimulating dialogue about relevant topics at our YouTube channel here.
▧ Circle of Hope Audio Art
Often music is the best teacher. We love to share our original songs for worship. A new set just came out! Check out all our albums here. Feel welcome to write a song to share.
▧ Our pastors’ blogs
Our leaders, especially our pastors, have many ways to teach us. Here are their blogs:
- Rod White: Development
- Ben White: Today, if you hear his voice!
- Jonny Rashid: more than self-expression
- Rachel Sensenig: Looking Up
- Julie Hoke
▧ Our foundational book from 2009
Our founder, Rod White, was challenged to write a narrative that walked a new friend through all our proverbs. You can buy the book A Circle of Hope: Jesus at Work among the Next Generation of the Church here.
Take a risk to follow your passions and use your gifts
We make teams to get things done. You can serve on a compassion or mission team or start one. Teams are formed (and are also dissolved when their time is finished) as we rely on the Spirit to lead us.
We have formed numerous compassion teams that express the hopes and desires of a group of people who have called out like-inspired people to join their cause. The church affirms them and lets them lead us all as we are able to join in. They help us share God’s love in practical ways in order to express our hearts and demonstrate the gospel. You can see the present collection here.
Mission teams are formed in a similar way. Their focus is more on evangelism and disciple-making. You can see the present collection here.
Make a covenant
Learning how to make a covenant is basic to following Jesus. Just like Jesus makes a covenant with everyone who will eat the bread and drink the cup with him, sharing his death and resurrection, we make a covenant with one another out of the same self-giving love.
Every day, we are called to live out our new covenant in Jesus—to love as He loved us. Our cells are the base communities that hold together and offer a practical, face-to-face way to experience and express our mutual love. The cells form congregations. Congregations form the church.
Every quarter we hold a love feast to reaffirm and celebrate the covenant we share as a whole church. Everyone is invited to one of our sites to express our unity in Christ, share communion, tell stories and welcome the next people God has added to the church. Although this idea is scarcely mentioned in the Bible, it is reflected on every page of the New Testament as Jesus forms a visible body to represent God’s truth and love in the world.
In preparation for the feast, we hold a meeting to explore the specifics of our covenant called—About Making a Covenant. This is for anyone moved to consider this commitment. It is a great time to ask questions. Here is an outline of what happens at the meeting: About Making a Covenant.
Here are a few more resources about making a covenant:
Connect with the culture and lore of our church
Explore the convictions that drive us
Our "proverbs" paint a picture of who we are. We always include them in our map, since they describe the kind of people we want to be as we express the heart God has placed in us.
We have these sayings over many years. They continue to evolve as the Holy Spirit guides us. The eleven distinctions below as titles to the collection of statements which point to our character, purpose and mission. They express something of what fuels us, how we see God refining us and shaping us, and how we want to live in light of the Bible and in tune with the Spirit of Jesus. You'll see they are much like the proverbs in the Old Testament, in that they raise many questions as well as answer them. They are designed to keep our dialogue going as we discern our distinctive path on the way of Jesus.
Jesus is best revealed incarnationally
● We are called to move with what the Spirit is doing next
● We are meant to go deep with God
● We must be doers of the word
● Generating justice and hope in our neighborhood must be at the heart of us.
● We are called out to be a living organism, building community together in love
● Dialogue keeps us connected and protects our gravity
● Fomenting diversity and reconciliation is at the prophetic heart of our gospel
● We expect people to express their gifts, talents, art and worship
● Sharing our resources brings freedom and unleashes power
● Leadership is a team effort
Explore all the proverbs, here.
Deepen your mental as well as spiritual health
Our church is a good place to gain and maintain mental health.
Look around our church for what God has provided. We hope we have built a psychologically healthy church that is a safe place to grow and has many resources available for your mental health. If you receive all the gifts offered, you can access and offer a lot of help long before you connect to professional services
In May of 2020 we started collecting this list of resources for you so you would have a starting point for whatever you need. Explore: How the church can help you gain or maintain mental health.
We are blessed with a counseling center connected to our church
When Christians practice psychotherapy, it is an integrated approach to healing.
Circle Counseling was founded in 1997 by Dr. Gwen White. They are a group of independent practitioners gathered to provide quality psychotherapy. They offer a broad spectrum of counseling services designed to provide care for a wide range of mental, emotional, and spiritual concerns. They strive to keep our services affordable, offer services on a sliding scale and accept the subsidy arrangement provided by Circle of Hope’s Mutuality Fund. Through work with individuals, couples, and families they promote health, wholeness, and reconciliation.
Their invitation to you: When life becomes challenging or you’re losing hope, we are a safe place to explore change that can be the way to a fuller and happier life. For more information visit circlecounseling.com or call our Director, Dr. Gwen White at 267.254.0015.