At Root and Branch we are growing...
from strangers into neighbors.
We're forming a not-so-common kind of community, where we practice loving others even if they happen to worship, believe, look, dress, or have sex differently than we do. Yes, we are LGBT-affirming, and proud of it. We think it's the best interpretation of the core of the biblical witness. So is the destigmatization of mental health, calling power to question, and giving a crap about our planet. We practice this courageously vulnerable love by taking a cue from Jesus Christ, who loved wildly and indiscriminately, and went out on dangerous, deadly limbs to show there's no other path than this kind of love to real life. We're putting the hard work of real relationships before easy in-group bonding over belief or identity.
from consumers into creators.
We're breaking through our passive acceptance of the spiritual status quo and building the kinds of spaces we just might be able to care about again--spaces where we feel actually seen and accepted in all our weird, unorthodox, imperfectly-but-graciously-formed glory.
We're spending time with old things; stories, songs, rituals, calendars, and finding in them radical (a word whose root meaning comes from "root") new ways of engaging with our world.
We're also breaking through the political status quo that tells us the only way to shape our communities is to vote once every few years, and the economic one that tells us the best way to help the poor is to buy more stuff we only vaguely want.
from wanderers into wonderers.
If the early 20th century was the Age of Anxiety, ours might be the Age of ADD. Never before have there been so many distractions at our thumb tips. It's hard to focus on the big picture. And which one should command our attention anyway? We are wanderers not in the free-spirited bohemian sense, but because we're constantly being lured down freshly designed paths of satisfaction whose sleek curves lead to nowhere's latest update.
We want to slow down and pay attention to what matters: other faces in the room, invisible faces in our communities, hidden but real truths that can only emerge with time and care.
Root and Branch Church is part of a history and movement started by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), a Protestant denomination formed in the early 1800s in order to break through rules, creeds, and hierarchies that divide us. Instead, they affirmed a community that broke bread together, welcomed all people, emphasized individual freedom, and formed strongly autonomous local churches. Through generous financial support from the Illinois-Wisconsin region of the Disciples, we are trying to carry on the core ideas they started.