Values and Vision

God's mercies are new every day. Photo by John

 Heatherhope is a working farm. The most important work of all is done for us as we sleep. God is at work in Creation, holding all life in a beautiful harmony. We see it in here in the soil, the pasture, the genetics of the livestock and the instincts of the dogs that we care for. All this has been handed down to us by countless generations of our farmer ancestors who tended to our agricultural heritage before us. But we must also work. Work is good for us and for others. Work is purpose, values and vision in action. Perhaps the most important work that we have to do is to encourage others in their work of belonging.

 Belonging: We believe the central instinct in all people is to belong. God is the gracious center of the circle of belonging; and we are fulfilled when we give out of our strengths and receive out of our needs. We are wisest when we appreciate the whole—when we see how all things are connected in a living system where cooperation is more effective than competition.

 Agrarianism: We are inspired by the practical environmentalism of people like Wendell Berry. Our food comes from farms and we must return to farming practices where people have long-term commitments to the land and local community, and where they work under the sovereignty of nature rather than the sovereignty of industrial economy.

Epiphany fire. Photo by John

 Ecumenism and Community: We believe that Jesus Christ is in the business of gathering rather than scattering. Our work must be to encourage rather than discourage individuals and the gathering together of people who need each other due to their shared humanity under God. Our work is to encourage membership and full participation in local congregations, yet to extend and supplement the work of congregations by being hospitable to people who are not yet affiliated with congregations, and to bring together like-minded folk from different denominations, congregations and faith traditions.

 Peace and Justice Through Service: We believe that the way to “save the world” is to love it deeply on every level. When we are deeply involved in our local community, we grow in compassion for all people of the world.

 Full Humanity Through Spiritual Work: We believe that to enjoy full human belonging takes spiritual work involving the whole self. It requires rational reflection on what is known as well as contemplative openness to mystery. It requires work as well as passive receptiveness. It requires study of the Bible and other religious traditions as well as worship and play and physical discipline. It requires a healthy balance of the personal and the communal and the collaborative.

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