So, What Do You Guys Believe?

a post by Sean Lanigan

"So, what do you guys believe?"  It's a question I get fairly often when I meet new people and start telling them about Holy Ground.  And I sometimes struggle to answer it.  Because at Holy Ground, we don't all believe exactly the same things (and also because I know the questioner is usually trying to test my doctrinal purity, rather than inquiring with real curiosity).  We deeply value the practice of creating space for a diversity of beliefs, while simultaneously valuing deep engagement with the core of our Christian heritage, which we encounter in the life and teaching and presence of Jesus.  So many of us have chosen to leave more rigid expressions of Christianity, and we've come to Holy Ground yearning for more spaciousness and freedom to creatively explore life with God.  Others have come without any faith background at all, also seeking a safe space for questions and uncertainty and doubt.  Many Holy Grounders would describe our faith as "in process."  Yet make no mistake: holding all of this beautiful diversity together takes a lot of spiritual work and a consistent discipline of forgiveness as we struggle to better understand one another and our triune God.  Progressive Christianity is surely not an easy spiritual path, but it can also be incredibly liberating and satisfying and redemptive one.

In the midst of our diversity, the people of Holy Ground have also been discovering a whole bunch of things we hold in common.  So if Holy Ground were ever to adopt a "statement of faith," I think it might just go something like this.  (And while it certainly doesn't cover everything, this feels pretty true to what we've been discovering as a community.)  –Sean

We believe that God speaks in and through all people, even (and maybe especially) those bruised and buffeted by the vicissitudes of this messy-yet-beautiful human life. We know that we have to listen carefully and attentively to hear God's "still small voice" in ourselves and in others.

We believe in the radical healing power of creating spaces for deep and courageous listening. We have often discovered how God is trying to speak through us by hearing God speak (albeit sometimes hesitantly and haltingly) through someone else.

We come together as church to witness to God's ongoing redemptive activity in each one of our lives, pointing one another toward the glimmers of transformation that we hear in each other's stories.

We come together as church to remember that there is a bigger, better, truer story than the one we often tell ourselves, a story in which God often works through the most unlikely of people to bring more healing and wholeness and love into the world. It's a story in which God takes on flesh in Jesus in order to share in our pain and joy so that we might learn to trust his path of death and resurrection.

We believe that God intends to speak powerfully through each and every one of our lives. Practicing Christianity, then, is all about learning to "let our lives speak."