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5.13.2006

Oasis Model of Ministry

From the freedom Friends Church visioning process 2004
in response to a post on Brooklyn Quaker
“Whosoever Will - May” Oasis Model

This is one of our metaphors of the moment for Freedom Friends Church.

If we take any slice of scripture literally we do so take the words of the Spirit summing things up in the last chapter of the Revelation of John –
“Whosover Will, May Come.”

The Picture is that of an Oasis in the desert.

There is one unfailing source of Life - The Present Christ
Around this source is gathered a community practicing health.
-spiritual, physical and emotional health - each according to their abilities
There is rest, renewal, and healing resources available.
There are many clearly marked paths to the oasis, but no fences, no gates
-people come and go, or come and stay as they have need or desire
People are helped in, if they need and ask, but not chased if they leave.
The ones who stay, when healed and refreshed,
will each have something to contribute.

At Freedom Friends church this metaphor will be given form in these ways:

We share our spiritual experience, the source of our strength and our hope for the future, any time and any place it is asked for. We will all be evangelists, but we will impose our beliefs on no one.

We each take personal responsibility for our own spiritual path, and no one else’s. We will listen to the prophet Micah and try and “Do justice, and love mercy and walk humbly (together) with our God”.

The only requirement for being present is a basic respect for others.

The only requirement for membership will be to understand, according to our ability, what the community is about; and to be able to articulate in some form why we want, and need, to belong. The community will seek this understanding and articulation and acceptance of members, together.

The only requirement for public ministry will be that in doing so, the minister will not be a danger to themselves or others. The community will articulate those dangers, for instance - too much stress puts a minister in danger, fear based theology is a danger to others, trying to be a healer without being healed is a danger both to the minister and the community.

Those who know things, teach. Those who have something, share. We set the table, and serve truth and health, it will be up to the guest to show up and eat.

We will keep the entry paths into the community well marked, open and inviting. The ministry of some will be to actively assist people in finding the way. The ministry of some will be to go out and search the roadsides for those dying in the ditches without a chance of making it in on their own strength.

We will be responsible for the community by being responsible for ourselves.
We will encourage the individual priorities of; relationship with Christ - first; individual sanity, sobriety, and health - second; relationships with others - third; and doing the working of healing the planet after that.

Only Christ will save souls. Only His Spirit will convict the person of their sin. We will try and save lives, starting with our own, so that Christ can save souls.


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