We love because God first loved us and we reflect that love back to Him to bring Him glory. We seek to love God with our whole hearts. We surrender all that we do to Jesus. As a community who values worship, we set aside time to come together to be in relationship with God together. Everything we do at The Common Space flows from the love that comes from Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit. As we see and experience Him more clearly in worship, He gives us love and vision to see people through the lens of His love, no matter our differences and similarities. Everything we do here, whether it is playing games, providing counseling, sharing a meal or coffee, it is all an act of worship to God.
We believe that God created each of us for a purpose. Oftentimes, life happens and we experience hardships that hinder us from living into that purpose. We may lack common abilities or self worth that allows us to participate in the story of life around us. God has designed each of us individually and communally with strengths and abilities that we can use to contribute to the community around us. It is our value to provide spaces of dignity for each other to explore ways they can find fulfillment by exploring their unique gifts, abilities and strengths to give back to the world.
We encourage safe spaces where we can take the risk of being emotionally and spiritually open to God and each other without shame and judgement. We come against the notion that there are spiritual hierarchies we are trying to reach. We do not always have to have it all together to be accepted and loved. We are relationally dependent on each other and God. We believe to be fully known by other people encourages us to be fully known by God.
We offer safe spaces of welcome. We create inviting spaces where healing can happen and strangers can become friends. We create an inviting atmosphere where people can feel comfortable. We offer a cool cup of water, hot cup of coffee or a snack to eat. Hospitality is creating a safe space where people can reflect on their stories and be accepted for who and where they are.
"Hospitality means primarily the creation of free space where the stranger can enter and become a friend instead of an enemy. Hospitality is no to change people, but to offer them space where change can take place. It is not to bring men and women over to our side, but to offer freedom not disturbed by dividing lines." -Henri Nouwen
Mutuality in Relationships
We believe everyone has something to give and everyone has something to receive. Mutuality leads to dignity and respect for each other as we learn to give and receive to and from each other. We do not compete with each other or think of anyone as better than the other, we recognize that growth is cooperation with each other - it is about the journey of growth that is dependent on the other, each with our different experiences, strengths and vulnerabilities.
We accept each other as we are. We value the process of growth and healing. Time and grace are our friends in this restorative journey. Faith, friendship, and healing is not something that happens overnight. We trust God is in the process. We recognize that life is not a ladder that we are climbing, but we are on a journey that is often filled with circular motions, high points, low points and everything in between. We are not trying to reach perfection, but authentic growth and healing. Growth is a process and we join each other in the process with encouragement and partnerships.
Connects us with each other and reminds us of the goodness of God. Play breaks down barriers of differences and unifies us in purpose. Play brings laughter, fun and connection and reminds us of joy in the middle of the struggle. Play connects us together and reminds us that we are not alone. Play reminds us to be free and that it is ok to relax in the presence of each other. Play promotes freedom and can have the power to deliver us from our proverbial chains and bring release. As we play together, God joins us in the dance and brings freedom, joy and release.
We are all made in the image of God, even though that image is marred by sin. We are created by a good God who loves us, therefore we are to recognize this image in each other and treat each other as if we are encountering God’s image in the other with love and care as though we were caring for God Himself.
The sacrifice of Christ on the cross is what makes a way for us to draw near to God and each other in our messiness and struggle. It bridges the great divide and makes us right with God and equal with each other. This good news is open to all people. It removes shame and provides equal forgiveness. Because of the cross, we can become one with Christ, and be free of shame. The cross removes our judgement of each other and offers forgiveness. The cross of Christ is our mutual hope and teaches us to sacrifice our lives in love, just as Jesus did.
Life is not always easy. the struggle is real. And the struggle happens to all of us, regardless of socio-economic status, religion, race, etc. Whether it is death, sickness, financial struggles, divorce, or natural disasters, none of us are immune to the struggle. It is part of being human. It is part of living in the world as we wait for God’s Kingdom to come in it’s fullness. God doesn’t leave us alone in the struggle, he teaches us how to work through the struggle with His grace and with each other. We believe there is beauty in the struggle. Struggle is nature’s way of strengthening us, if we let it. It is often in the struggle when we feel the presence of God the most. Real beauty comes when we don’t journey in the struggle alone, but we join each other in the journey. Three cords of strand are not easily broken.
We believe in a Christ who was resurrected from the dead. Because of the resurrection of Christ, He has broken the curse of the struggle. Pain doesn’t have to have the final say. God’s Kingdom is already here! It is coming through His Spirit in you and me. He is making the struggles and pain into beauty. The book of Isaiah refers to this act of redemption: Comfort the broken-hearted, proclaim freedom for the captives, to those who mourn, he will give blessing, praise instead of despair and beauty for ashes. God takes what is devastating and can restore it to even more beauty than before, and we are to participate in this redemption story with each other by being Christ’s body on earth. Love is God’s redemption of the struggle and pain in this world.
It is at the Communion table, the Eucharist, where we receive the blood and body of Christ through the bread and wine. It is here where we remember our salvation. It is here we remember that we have been forgiven, all guilt and shame is gone. It is a safe place for confession. It is in this space that we receive grace and are reminded that we have been reconciled (made right) with God. Likewise it reminds us to confess to one another, to forgive and to share grace with one another. It was through eating a meal Jesus shared the first communion with His friends. It is in the physical act of eating together that we are reminded that we can cross barriers and remember we are in this life together. We can forgive, be reconciled to each other, and remember the grace that brings us together.
This is the act of hospitality. Hospitality is opening our arms and our hearts to each other. It is the act of welcoming the stranger, the vulnerable and those who are often rejected. We know that we have been welcomed and received in Christ through the cross, so we can open our hearts and our sacred spaces to those around us.