A bit more about us...
Collective is not your typical church. We're OK with that. We are less like a corporation and more like a community, less like an institution and more like a family. You won't find a huge list of programmes at Collective but you will find a gathering of people learning how to love one another and love our neighbourhoods.
Our story is about a people desiring to be centred around Christ. Many of us come from backgrounds where our involvement in church led us to burn out in the meeting culture or disillusionment with the one day a week culture.
We seek to create real belonging for those looking for deeper spiritual meaning while equipping each other to be full-hearted disciples on mission in God's world. We purposely keep it simple so that following Jesus stays central in our life together.
Our team at Collective is led by Kenny and Vicky. Their journey has led them to gather a group of friends, who together could begin to imagine and live out new rhythms of being the church. Our leadership structure is a mutual team where each member has equal voice at the table. Together, we discern God's spirit and converse around the direction of Collective and seek to submit to one another.
The invitation to the table of Jesus is everything - not to be limited to Sundays, or meetings - it's about living a life where the sacred and secular merge, where we recognise God in all things, where restoration and healing can happen even in the middle of the mundane of life. Where we can live out this story of grace, embracing authentic community, being a family of differents, learning what it means to follow Jesus.
"To those of us who believe that all of life is sacred, every crumb of bread and sip of wine is a Eucharist, a remembrance, a call to awareness of holiness right where we are. I want all of the holiness of the Eucharist to spill out beyond church walls, out of the hands of priests and into the regular streets and sidewalks, into the hands of regular, grubby people like you and me, onto our tables, in our kitchens and dining rooms and backyards."
We talk a lot about the table at Collective. In each way we gather and scatter, we do so with the table of Christ in mind, with Christ's invitation, inclusion and grace always forming our posture in all we do as a collective body of disciples.
Who We Are.
Collective is an inclusive Christian community where faith is less about a story to be believed as it is a life to be lived. What we share is a growing awareness that life is a gift and what we do with it matters!
We are surrendering to love
God is Love. We envision a community where every human being awakens to this love; working in us, among us, through us and even as us. Early followers of Jesus called this “the body of Christ”. Reality is made of, held together by, and filled with, one, ultimate, loving energy that is present in all that exists. We see this energy uniquely present in the life and person of Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ. We are experimenting with building a community that trusts this energy, this love, this Christ, this reality, to be "all and in all".
We are transforming in love
Love is our supreme value, which we understand to be a self-giving choice to act responsibly with justice, integrity, courage and forgiveness, believing that the world needs places that equip individuals to serve with compassion, acknowledging our differences while valuing our one-ness. We want to embody not only a theoretical understanding of that but to consciously practice this truth in our everyday lives.
We are gathering around love
We recognise that human beings have, and always will, seek out transcendent experiences of the Holy, together in community. This helps us remember who we are, recall our origins, and seek help in becoming agents of light, life and love in our neighbourhoods and beyond. We gather together regularly to celebrate, open ourselves to further transformation, and develop and deepen relationships.
That we may be a beneficial presence in the world
Life includes, but goes beyond our individual persons to the entire biosphere and onward to the Universe itself. Ensuring a healthy future for the entire body of life is our aim. Rather than to “hold out” for a renewed, peaceful world in an afterlife, our hope is to actively build one here and now, one that includes social and ecological justice for all races, ethnicities, abilities, socioeconomic situations, gender identities and sexual orientations, and fosters peace through Jesus’ radical love of all humanity.
We envision a world where the tangible love, hope and power of Jesus is being expressed by his followers in every place around the world where people call home. In a world torn and ravaged by racial tension, war, genocide, disease, environmental disaster, poverty, hopelessness and conflict we see the Church defiantly standing against these things. Instead we see the people of God embodying the peace of Jesus in these broken places and following his Spirit into the world.
What we (aspire to) believe.
We think the world is tired of religious people who claim to believe a list of ideas when those very ideas don’t translate into any kind of personal transformation. Plus, we see belief as a dynamic lived out within reality, which doesn’t translate well into a few paragraphs on a website. The sad truth is, there are days when our lives express our belief in God, and there are other days when our beliefs are merely empty statements we live in spite of.
Ultimately, you can find our actual beliefs in the lived out expressions of our collective lives.
The statement below is therefore merely that, a statement. It’s something you might say we’re relying on or trusting in. And it’s something that ultimately we aspire to believe … not just in our hearts and minds, but in the way that we live in this world.
OUR UNDERSTANDING OF A MORE JUST AND GENEROUS CHRISTIAN FAITH AND PRACTICE
- The way of Jesus is a lifestyle of holistic healing for individuals, families, neighbourhoods and nations.
- To follow this way is the countercultural road of limitless forgiveness, radical acceptance, nonviolent peacemaking, abundant generosity and sacrificial love.
- Salvation isn’t a contractual relationship of filling in the right theological answers or behaving the correct way, but an ongoing covenantal relationship of integrity with our Source, Creator, God or Ultimate Reality.
- This understanding can move us away from religious systems, meritocracies or worthiness ladders as our pathway to God as we understand that union with God simply ‘is’ because of Jesus. In this way, salvation is about your NOW life, not your afterlife.
- We must never confuse the Kingdom of God with the kingdoms of this world. God’s Kingdom is power under, not power over; invitation, not coercion; service, not consumption.
- As a community of people, committed to be a benefit and blessing to the world, we welcome all persons to participate in the life of our community.
- God doesn’t cause suffering, but redeems it. And calls us to join in the work of renewing, reconciling and redeeming all things.
- The future is open and full of possibilities. We must embrace the awesome role we are invited to play in it.
How we seek to live.
Embedded in Place
We work for the peace of the people and places where we have been called to invest our lives. We are rooted in these places as known members and humble participants in the community. The peace we seek in our places is ultimately the peace that is found in Jesus as his rule and reign fills the land, relationships and hearts in our neighbourhoods.
Committed to a Contemplative Life
Following in the tradition of historical monastic spirituality, we cultivate our hearts in communion with Jesus through regular contemplative prayer, devotional reading, community prayer rhythms, spiritual direction and coaching.
"Contemplation is the perfection of love and knowledge.” "Contemplation goes beyond concepts and apprehends God not as a separate object but as the reality within our reality, the being within our being, the life of our life.” "Contemplation is a mystery in which God reveals Himself as the very centre of our own inmost self.”
Contemplation is the work of the Holy Spirit acting on our souls through His gifts of wisdom and understanding with special intensity to increase and perfect our love for Him.
Rooted Spiritual Formation
Intentional formation in the way of Christ. Combining our commitment to contemplative practice and embedding in place, we ground our own spiritual formation in the places where we live and serve, allowing ourselves to be changed by them. When we form others, we form them as a people of God who are inhabiting a place.
Each year we make a commitment to each other to live a balanced Christian life of Communion (Life with God), Community (Life with each other) and Context (Life with others).
Nurturing common life among members of intentional community.
Sharing economic resources with fellow community members and the needy among us.
We are humble participants with God who is at work in the world. Though we have a mandate to share the message of Jesus, we believe it is the Spirit of God who moves in people’s hearts. As we engage God’s mission we do so as ones marked by sacrifice, powerlessness and honour for “the other”. We choose not to force our beliefs or move ahead of God’s invitation.
Care for the plot of God’s earth given to us along with support of our local economies.
Peacemaking in the midst of violence and conflict resolution within communities. Matthew 18.
Centred around Christ.
We hold to the Apostles’ Creed as a unifying statement of faith along with our commitment to the authority of the Holy Bible, which serves as our sacred Scripture.
THE APOSTLES' CREED
I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
And born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven,
And is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
The holy Christian Church,
The communion of saints,
The forgiveness of sins,
The resurrection of the body,
And the life everlasting. Amen.
THE NICENE CREED
We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.