Exploring together is an invitation to go deeper, to go beyond “me” and “you,” and delve into the mysteries of life in a community that thirsts and hungers for meaning and connection. Here are a few guiding principles to sustain our shared journey together.
We confess! We stole this philosophy from our guide’s Episcopal background. But it’s for everyone. Radical welcome is at the heart of everything we do on our journey together. It’s more than just being friendly and inviting all who seek or are curious to join us.
Radical, in its truest definition, relates to roots–the roots of a number, a plant, a word–and is used as an adjective to mean the fundamental part of someone or something. To welcome radically means to embrace all for who they are at their core.
We at Sharing the Journey welcome, affirm, and include persons from all walks of life, of all beliefs, abilities, and persuasions. That includes all sexes, gender expressions, sexual orientations, races, nationalities, ethnicities, socio-economic realities and health statuses. We invite all to join us in our common search for truth and meaning. We hope that in community we will experience sanctuary, healing, affirmation, inspiration, empowerment, and peace.
Here at Sharing the Journey, we believe every person is worthy of love and respect. There is nothing one needs to do or be in order to acquire such worth. It is already there as a free gift by nature of being alive. We are called to uphold our own worth and the worth of each other in all we do and say.
Inquiry isn’t the same as inquisition or interrogation. It is curiosity and exploration, which requires openness to new possibilities. Moreover, inquiry is delving into the mysteries of ourselves, each other, the world around us, and the interdependent web of life in a way that is respectful of others, knowing and valuing that each one of us is on a unique journey (in the midst of our common one) and may hold values and beliefs that differ from our individual ones and that is totally okay. We can learn and grow from these differences.
Even if we’re not going through the exact same experiences as someone else, we can understand their feelings. Because let’s face it. We’re human. We all have the capacity to feel sadness, fear, anger, joy, surprise, and peace in response to what happens in our lives. Just saying “I understand how you feel” is a way to lift someone else (and ourselves) up and heal the brokenness in our hearts and world.
Copyright © 2020 by Jennifer A. Hudson