Stuff We think is Important
Many churches have a list of doctrines on this page. We don’t really have that.
Even if we did, it wouldn’t give you a very good sense of who we are. We’re not really organized that way. We don’t all believe the same stuff (many aren’t even sure what we believe). That means we have a pretty broad spectrum of beliefs in our community. (Not really the point, but if your beliefs are in flux, you’ll fit right in!)
So, instead, we’re organized around a shared hunger to grow, to access the Inner Divine, to deconstruct the false self, and to become wise and virtuous. We’re organized around a way of relating to one another, doing our best to accept and encourage one another on our spiritual journeys.
It’s been good, approaching things this way. It feels honest, authentic, and real. When the spiritual journey isn’t a one-size-fits-all affair, it gets much more interesting.
So, once dogma was less important, it freed us up to explore things that feel much more important. The list will probably morph over time, but here are a few things that feel pretty important right now.
The Spiritual Journey Is an Inward Journey
It’s not uncommon for the spiritual journey to focus outside ourselves. We go to a book, a tradition, a saint or a guru. But, it turns out, our Christian tradition has long insisted that we are all carriers of the Indwelling Spirit. The quest for the Divine—is an inner quest. And, it turns out, our tradition has a whole basket of practices that help us access that Inner Life.
God is Good. We Are Safe.
Here’s the thing. The word “god” is code for a Reality bigger than we can contain. Our most ancient texts insisted we not even say the word, lest we fool ourselves into thinking we know what we’re talking about. But over the years we’ve done just that. We’ve tried to pin God down. In the process somehow we made God un-good. We made God mean, harsh, judgmental. So our community isn’t sure what God is, but we’re pretty sure God isn’t that. We’re pretty sure we needn’t fear God. We can grow, learn, doubt, even fail, with no sense of looming Divine punishment.
Oneness Is a Better Description of Reality than Twoness
Jesus prayed that we would all experience the same kind of oneness with the Divine he did (Jn. 17). St. Paul said that we, being many, are actually one—every one of us a member of every other one of us (Rom. 12). It’s a bedrock truth in our tradition, but it feels super unintuitive. We feel like we are two—not one. But as quantum physics is helping us see how true oneness is, we’ve been exploring how to make oneness practical.
Doubt Is A Healthy Part of Spiritual Development.
When we doubt our religion’s beliefs and practices, we’re actually doing something important on the spiritual journey. We’re dismantling the constructs that were given to us by somebody else—a secondhand version of spirituality, and we’re freeing up space to move into a firsthand, direct-encounter, version of spirituality. It’s an essential process. It’s a healthy process. It’s a good process.
Religion is Worth Saving
Now, when we say “religion” we may not mean what you think we mean. We don’t mean intolerance, or hypocrisy, or sexual repression, or force-fed belief. None of that. For us, “religion” is simply the organized systems that help us belong and become. Religion is authentic spiritual community. It’s helping one another do the ancient practices that awaken us to the Inner Divine. It’s organizing for the common good—caring for the world around us.
We are an Affirming and Egalitarian Community
We welcome LGBTQ+ people in all levels of participation and leadership at Common Thread Church and we encourage them in their relationships. Women are encouraged to and do serve at all levels of leadership at Common Thread Church.