I am lucky that my city still holds sacred our place in nature; greenways, state parks, and woodsy hiking trails provide escape from the white-collar clutter of my 9-to-5 job. But the ding that has replaced the old “You’ve got mail!” that doesn’t stop because the state park has service and the fifteen-minute drive to work that is so immediate turn any escape into a reply-all. I am looking forward to an abundance that man-made environments cannot provide. I cannot deposit the wealth that Mother Earth delivers to those that willingly (and sometimes apprehensively) exchange their pixels for pinecones.
The UCA provides this natural and restorative setting. Between tall redwoods and beneath singing birds the California Christian Ashram meet to grow in faith, receive spiritual renewal, experience life, and enjoy a relaxed atmosphere.
We were created for this. God freed the Israelites from Pharaoh for worship, so that they could proclaim the story of God. We are freed from the punishment of sin, which is death, so that we can worship God, living out the words, “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
As I mentioned last week, some of the hardest times to hold onto our faith are when God seems distant or nonexistent. Rediscovering worship reenters us into relationship with Jesus, and the valleys seem less deep, and the mountains seem less steep. The closer we come to Christ, the more certain we become of God’s love and care.
The UCA worships God in a unique, ecumenical way that inspires the transformation of all persons to be followers of Jesus Christ, and thereby discover, renew, and deepen relationships with God, ourselves, and others.
The UCA is this group of people. Each Christian Ashram begins with the Open Heart, a time of sharing your needs and wants in a small group setting (for more information, see my earlier post). From there, and throughout a week of bible study, prayer groups, evangelistic sermons, healing and wholeness, and reflection, the UCA becomes family. This time together turns strangers into sisters and brothers.
For more information regarding the other Ashram celebration dates and locations, please visit this page.