The mission of *culture is not optional is to model and encourage creative communities, rooted in the love of Christ in Three Rivers and beyond.
Perhaps our first value is in our name: *culture is not optional. But what kind of culture? And why is it “not optional?” We believe humans are created to make something of the world, and what we make is “culture.” We can’t help but make culture in our homes, neighborhoods, churches and workplaces. The culture we make can be life-giving or destructive, beautiful or scarring, compassionate or self-centered. As followers of Christ, we aspire to make culture that is loving, just and joyful. The following values further articulate what kind of culture we hope to cultivate through the work of *culture is not optional.
- Experiential learning — “‘Come and see’ was the pedagogy of Jesus.” We learn best when attractive alternative models open our hearts to grow and change.
- Unfettered imagination — Poverty of imagination is an injustice we seek to dismantle through the arts, storytelling and friendship.
- Radical hospitality — Embracing one another’s wounds and celebrating one another’s gifts, we open our hearts and homes to all people, giving one another permission to be who we are and to change.
- Faithful presence — We seek to grow deep roots where we are planted, affirming our community’s gifts and actively caring for its needs.
- Compassionate listening — We seek humble kinship with those who are suffering.
- Abundant simplicity — The good life is marked by sharing, resourcefulness and eating together often.
- Sabbath rhythm — There’s a time for work and a time for rest, for all of God’s creation.
- Ridiculous joy — “Be joyful / though you have considered all the facts.”
- Contemplative activism — We seek to be “peaceful peacemakers” through both our private disciplines and public actions.
- Creative collaboration — We seek cooperation across the borders of denomination, religion, politics, race, institution and other lines that divide us.