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We are an ecumenical faith community that, through prayer and fasting, encourages society to journey along paths toward healing. We do this via forums, events, narrative therapy, teleconferences, and vigils to aid our efforts against child abuse and human trafficking
I will be like the dew to Israel; he shall grow like the lily; he shall take root like the trees of Lebanon. Those who dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall be revived like grain, and grow like a vine; their remembrance shall be like the wine of Lebanon (Hos. 14:5, 7). This is the generation of those who seek You and worship in Your presence, O God of Jacob. (see Ps. 24:6)
“Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place” (Rev. 6:14)
In February 2003 the Spirit guided me to immerse myself in prayer. In a heightened sense likened to the earth’s tremor, silence followed after what seemed to be the earth moaning in expectancy. I desperately sought an anchor and searched for live daily prayer ministries to no avail. My sister suggested that we gather to pray at least once a week and I thought it was a perfect way to ignite our intercession. After waiting weeks for her to get back with me, I made contact; she informed me that she had decided to drop it. I asked her and a couple of my brothers about starting a weekly family prayer circle over the phone. They weren’t enthusiastic but I persisted and initiated it with 3-way calling. Two tornadoes just a month apart hit the area where I lived which was the first that I’d ever experienced.
“A badly bruised soul is one that is chosen” – Streams in the Desert
I’ve mourned the death of grandparents, a brother, pets, and relationships, but nothing devastated me more than my mother’s death. In the months that followed, death took another brother and my only sister. While mourning these losses, I suffered through two hurricanes that year. Friends of my siblings graciously continued in prayer with me (see Ps. 18:16-18).
We steadily increased circles for prayer and spiritual teachings. Among my favorites were the “Grief” and “Dreams” series led by Pastor Devon Jones and Helen Nelson, respectively.
“You are lustrous and praiseworthy life: You waken and re-awaken everything that is” – Hildegard of Bingen
In 2006, we settled on a ministry name and mission statement, after our first business meeting that ended with communion at a home. Beth – named in honor of my mother, in the the Old Testament means HOUSE and Christ the carpenter upon our frame, will build a church so expansive with energy that not even the gates of hell will be able to keep it out (see Matt. 16:18 The Message).
“By His Stripes” prayer chain was formed in 2008 when I asked participants on our conference line to form a chain right before high holy week. I asked a couple of ministers to also fast with me for holy fires to be ignited across the globe and prepared a communion service that ended our fast in a home on Good Friday. While “Yes We Can” a popular political slogan, inspired the nation to welcome change, I envisioned a 24/7 fasting chain. The formation of “The Seven Lamps” fasting chain in that same year was linked to this political movement in order to establish the basis for it.
“The eyes of those who see will not be dim, and the ears of those who hear will know the truth” (Isaiah 32:3)
If we are to imitate Christ who said, “My Father is always working and so am I” (John 5:17, also see Eph. 5:13-16 NLT), then the word we profess, bids us to consider the earth’s tremor. In 2010, to increase awareness about the global issue of human-trafficking we launched “The Liberal Soul” Roundtable and organized “The Green Tree” Network to serve as a catalyst for social reform. Despite a number of infractions and attempts to derail us over the past decade we chose to love because it endures. We fervently prayed from the onset, for a Spiritual Director who would labor with us and be more than a figurehead. Our prayers were answered when we came under Pastor Jim H.’s and his wife Rose’s guidance in January 2012 after meeting through a mutual friend during our 2011 Labor Day annual vigil.
The DEW (Distinctly Eloquent Worship) art form was birthed in 2012. We celebrated our 10th anniversary in 2013 and “The Day of Christ” Meditation Circle emerged a month later. “The Grace of Life (GL)” Council, formed in 2014, helps to determine the best method to use in order to achieve spiritual maturity. This is done through teleconferences and venues such as ‘The GL Grief Cafe’ (2016) and ‘The Elders’, a youth centric meditative prayer forum (2016).
We’ve undergone tremendous change in the spiritual and natural worlds. You’ve shared some amazing testimonies and we’ve heard countless victories from many others attributed to our consistent prayers from early morning until the evening DEW. One might consider a vigil as an ineffective tool against human trafficking, but a slingshot was seemingly nothing to use to defeat a giant. Like David, we vowed to expose and bind the terrifying strongman (see 1Sam. 17:44, 45, 50, 51).
“This is the day, whereon the hopeless have been clothed with the raiment of confidence, and the sick attired with the robe of healing” (Prayers and Meditations by Baha’u’llah, p.273).
We reveal the active presence of Christ through intercessory prayer, Scripture, music and spiritual mentoring, to promote the conscious liberation of our communities from spiritual and mental abuse, sexual assault and human trafficking.
What We Believe
The Father of Lights (Mark 14:38; John 5:26-28; 15:16; James 1:17, 18 – Prayer)
The Bible is the authoritative textual basis of our faith. We respect the validity of the scientific method and rational investigation of the material world: However, we do not believe materialistic views of reality go far enough in understanding all the forces that are at work in the universe. There is such a thing as mystery and it is an essential element of religious faith. Great indeed, we confess, is the witness of the apostles and other early disciples of Jesus, that He was in fact seen alive and able to exercise supernatural power after his physical body was killed (see 1 Tim. 3:16). This is He who came by water and blood –Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood (see 1 John 5:6).
We believe in a Creator of the universe whom we are called to seek, know, and love and whose nature was revealed to the world in the person and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. According to the Bible we are the offspring of His glory (see Gen. 1:26; Ps. 8:3-5; Mal. 2:10; Acts 17:28).
The Day of Christ (Phil. 2:16 – Meditation)
The law of justice is a foundational belief of the world’s religions. In the Old Testament scriptures, sinful actions were to be paid in direct proportion to the violation of moral law (see Ex. 21: 22-36; Lev. 24:19-21; Deut. 30:17-19).
Obviously, people do not always get what they deserve – either good or bad – in this life. Therefore, spiritual traditions teach that the life of individual human beings continues after death in some form. When Jesus walked among us, he promised great benefits for those who devote their lives to higher ideals and routinely declared that people were forgiven, even before they repented (Mat. 19:26-30). Christ’s authority…came from a knowledge that went deeper than the letter of the law (see John 5:26, 27; 2 Cor. 3:7-11). People at the time objected to such an extravagant outpouring of love and grace, and He is still scorn by many today (see Ps. 103:12; Matt. 9:13).
As individuals and responsible citizens, we believe in the respect and fulfillment of our responsibilities, civil and collective. We believe in the law of justice by which actions generate consequences, whether to be manifested in this life or the life to come and in the person of Jesus (the archetypal Christ), every person is destined to be raised up from imperfection to maturity (see 1 Pet. 3:21); this victory of redemption is revealed in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Luke 11:11-13; Gal. 2:20; Phil. 2:5-8; Col. 1:16; 1 Tim. 2:6, 7
We believe that the experience of divine judgment is the natural consequence of our behavior, but that it’s not the whole story and without forgiveness, grace, mercy and love, suffering continues, but with those life-changing forces, we and others are “being transformed into The Father’s expressed image from one degree of glory to another” (see 2 Cor. 3:18).
A Willing Spirit (Ps. 51:12, 13 – Enlightenment)
Hopeful prophecies in the Bible point to a future time of universal restoration and renewal (see Mat. 19:28; John 12:32-35; Rom. 5:17-20; 1 Cor. 15:22-24; Col. 1:19, 20). We recognize the right of an individual to choose his/her religion and/or spiritual path. God’s grace extends to everyone and as we read in the Parable of the Lost Sheep, HE is not satisfied with even ninety nine percent of people being saved, but keeps searching until the last lost sheep (person) is saved (see Luke 15:3-7; 1 John 3:3). Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth – to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people (Rev. 14:6).
Each person has the capacity to be misled or to gain salvation. It is God’s plan to take what is good in each individual and multiply it and infuse our false ideologies with divine goodness until only truth remains (see Mal. 3:2; Matt. 3:12; Mark 9:49).
All answered prayer is linked to Christ’s sacrifice. We believe that in our “work” it is possible to obtain spiritual healing (see Mark 13:31-37; James 2:14-17) – since it is part of the natural process that one experiences in the search for one’s true Self and unity with God. We believe that the glory of this mystery has inspired numerous prophets, saints, philosophers, and mystics throughout history, in a variety of cultures and traditions.
We believe that by reading the Bible and other great texts of spiritual and moral wisdom with a discerning mind, we may all gain a greater understanding of truth for the betterment of ourselves and our world.