Our desire is for TheOOZE Forums to be a passionate (and grace-filled) place of conversation for everyone. In order to stimulate discussion and ensure a non-flaming atmosphere, we’ve invited a number of individuals who hold the ethos of TheOOZE to function as moderators.
I’m a southern belle who has had a rocky relationship with the church because of my upbringing as a Pentecostal preacher’s kid. I love God most days, and I question Him far too often. I’m grateful for Grace because it has allowed someone as cynical about Love and Mercy as I can be to enjoy a life full of those things. I am a momma, a wife, a daughter, a sister, and a friend. Family is the most important thing in my world. I feel disconnected from God when I’m disconnected from the people I love. They reflect Him to me every day.
My spiritual journey started around 40 years ago as a young hippie hooked on peace and love. I became interested in spiritual things, was drawn to zen, and saw Jesus as the most radical teacher and the “way” to peace and love. I initially navigated the choppy waters of evangelical and charismatic circles, found a home among Anabaptists, became a Mennonite pastor, worked with house churches and lived in intentional community. I retreated from all things spiritual for several years and am now exploring new directions. I help people create healthy homes as well as build community in living and working environments. I am interested in the eco-village as a model for missional community and am working on an educational program for sustainable leadership development. For more info about me, check out my website and blog: www.habitatreimagined.com
I am a Colorado native and lifelong resident. As an original member of TheOOZE, she has contributed several articles over the years. Additionally, she spent several years reimagining church with other followers of Jesus at Atlas Church in Greeley, CO. Heather (aka “HPiglet” and “her H-ness” on TheOOZE) enjoys IRL (in real life) meetings with her Ooze-family, roller derby, and boys in well-worn sweatshirts.
I can carry Taoist values, as reflected through certain martial arts – dichotomies often existing in harmony, not at the expense of one another. I can learn the tranquility of the Buddhist, to let go of issues that cause stress, as there is a time and place for passivity. I can value, revere, and worship the divine directly through Nature, paralleling paganism. I am free to hold Christian and monotheistic metaphoric truths to further understand the incomprehensible and hope to love others better, without the trappings of literalism, tribalism and legalism. I can appreciate and accept Catholicism’s veneration of the Virgin Mary as a manifestation of the much needed yet unaddressed divine-feminine. I can see the symbolic power and beauty of Orthodox icons and not suffer from idolatry. Because of the Gnostics, I hope to be free of the addictive nature of historicity and religiosity. I need not abandon the open-eyed skepticism of the Humanist, Atheist, or Agnostic on watchful guard for liars, “words of knowledge”, cheats, spiritual frauds, “prophetic gifts”, and charlatans. I am Woven; a living tapestry of identities, languages, cultures, and faiths. A piece of burlap; Strong and tightly bound, yet unbound in my liberty. I am not a subject of the lowest common denominator. I am a gestalt. The unweaving of one part is the undoing of the whole. What the Religionist must call purification – the purging of alien practices and ways – is to become unwoven. A single thread is easier to capture than a richly woven tapestry. My “religion” would best being described as a Non-institutional Syncretist… and Syncretism is akin to wringing the truth out of 10,000 lies.