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Door County People of Faith-Powerpoint Presentation

  1. Door County People of Faith Door County People of Faith is a new spiritual community that will strive to make a positive difference in our lives and the lives of others. Everyone's sacred journey is different, personal, and yet valid ... so, by gathering together to explore our questions and experiences, we energize each other with faith, hope, love, and expression. Hopefully, three words will describe us best: Welcoming. Caring. Sharing. We aim to keep it simple!
  2. We are people gathering together to seek and to celebrate God in our lives.
  3. We see ourselves as organic over organizational, spiritual over religious, personal over institutional.
  4. Existentially, we are “Christian.” Sacred journeys can take many different paths. While it is our responsibility to discern the true teachings of Jesus from the myriad overlays about him, for us the Christ (Messiah, Anointed One) personifies the closest we have come to embrace the divine essence within each of us. In his new book, The Fourth Gospel, Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong says: "Christianity is not about the divine becoming human so much as it is about the human becoming divine."
  5. In terms of governance, we consider ourselves “Congregational,” rather than Episcopalian or Presbyterian. Christian communities tend to be organized in one of three ways: Episcopalian, where decision-making and discernment is vested in the higher- ranking clergy (bishops); Presbyterian, whereby a group of “elders” oversees the church’s sacred and secular conduct; and Congregational (or Community), in which a congregation determines its own direction(s) as a self-sufficient body of Christ that may agree to be “in covenant” with other churches and spiritual communities. Door County People of Faith is a congregational community. Together, we seek to hear what God is saying, discern the Lord’s will for us … and then make any needed decisions communally.
  6. We comprise a priesthood of believers. In a true community church, all followers of the Christ are priests … not just the “Levites,” Peter’s successors, or those with ordination credentials.
  7. Ecumenically speaking, Door County People of Faith isn’t part of a denomination … but we aren’t soloists, either. We believe it important to be connected to the larger body of Christ … which we are through our affiliation with the International Council of Community Churches (ICCC). ICCC is a voluntary, international association of several hundred self- governing churches committed to Christian reconciliation and unity. A member of the National Council of Churches, the World Council of Churches, and the Churches Uniting in Christ (CUIC), ICCC is a fellowship with a mission: seeking social justice, reconciliation, and Christian unity. “As people devoted to following Christ, we are committed to community, to treasuring diversity, to living our faith in service and love,” the Council proclaims.
  8. All should be able to find support here in becoming the special, unique individuals God created us to be ... as well as to be part of a welcoming, caring, and sharing community.
  9. We believe that God's love is unconditional ... that God's grace is freely given, not earned ... and that each of us is wonderfully created in the divine essence of the Sacred.
  10. We don’t have “members.” Everyone here belongs … and has an equal voice in our community. An American Express ad said that, “Membership has its privileges.” Inherently, that’s correct: Membership tends to promote a caste system: Some people, intrinsically, are more “in” (or out) than others. We are called to be one in Christ. Membership also presupposes an obligation of loyalty that can create (inter)personal conflicts of interest. All are of equal value here … just by being here, you’re a vital part of our body!
  11. We won’t seek your pledges, either. Whether vows or offerings, giving is between you and God. We have no building to support, no staff to compensate, and no institutional obligations to fulfill. How – and how much – you choose to give are private decisions.
  12. Typically, we won’t be passing a plate.
  13. We plan to dedicate at least as much of our resources to sharing and caring for others as we do to caring for ourselves. Collections from Door County People of Faith initially will sustain community lifelines by supporting 24 nonprofit social welfare organizations here in Sturgeon Bay and Door County: --American Red Cross of NE Wisconsin; --Big Brothers/Big Sisters of NE Wisconsin; --Boys and Girls Club of Door County; --Christ Child Society; --Community Clinic of Door County; --Door CANcer, Inc.; --Door County Child Care Services, Inc.; --Door County Community Support Program; --Door County Habitat for Humanity; --Door County Human Services; --Door County Humane Society; --Door County Land Trust; --Door County Senior Resource Center; --Family Centers of Door County; --Feed and Clothe My People; --HELP of Door County; --Lakeshore CAP (Community Action Program); --Loaves & Fishes Community Meals Ministry; --Ministry Door County Dental Clinic; --NAMI of Door County: JAK's Place; --Neighbor-to-Neighbor Volunteer Caregivers; --Parents, Family, Friends of Lesbians & Gays; --Sustain Door; --Unity Hospice and Palliative Care
  14. Checks can be payable to the community organization being supported … while cash is best placed in an envelope with your name and address, so we can provide you with a record of your contributions for tax purposes.
  15. Checks can also be payable to Door County People of Faith. Your contributions are fully tax-deductible. “Congress has enacted special tax laws applicable to churches, religious organizations, and ministers in recognition of their unique status in American society and of their rights guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. “Churches and religious organizations are generally exempt from income tax and … automatically considered tax-exempt and not required to apply for or obtain tax- exempt status from the IRS.” --IRS, Charities & Non-Profits/Churches & Religious Organizations (Updated 06-March-2014)
  16. We will do our best to be compassionate and work for the greater good in our community by being proactive in service, mission, and social justice.
  17. It's not just about where we're spending our Sundays and our money ... but how we're spending our time and efforts. Can you spare an hour or two to share yourself with others?
  18. It is our fervent prayer to worship God in spirit and truth, bringing hope and comfort to all in our midst ... while lifting up the sacred and the holy that abide within each of us.
  19. We believe Jesus teaches it's more important how we live here-and-now, than focusing our fears and our faith on the hereafter. The Kingdom of God, after all, is among us.
  20. We encourage each other to ask questions as we seek to grow in our faith.
  21. We are eager to learn from other faith traditions, open to different styles of worship, and anticipate new ways of understanding God in our lives.
  22. We support the full inclusion of all people ... regardless of age, race, gender identity, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, physical or mental ability, family formation, heritage, language spoken, or ethnicity. Our diversity, we believe, is a reflection of the divine essence that we share.
  23. Please, join us here on Sundays for breakfast with Jesus, Moses, Mohammed, Mother Theresa, and the Buddha (among others).
  24. Door County People of Faith