Friday, December 9, 2011

About Our Church

The Full Circle Family Church is a church of demonstration and service. Our church is not defined by a physical location but by the demonstration of our belief in the efficacy of sharing. Our Church has a residential congregation – all members share housing, vehicles and all “things” in common. We follow Jesus’ teachings in Acts 4:32-35 where it is said that,

 32And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.
 33And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.
 34Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,
 35And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.

We seek to see the goodness in everyone, for we believe we are all children of God; one large human family, regardless of race, creed or religion. Though we draw heavily from the New Testament, and Jesus’ teachings, we also draw from Taoist teachings and many other faith paths. We believe that God is the Presence, the Life Force and Intelligence that vibrates through everything and everyone. We believe that each of us carries God within us and that life is a journey to become ever more present to this miraculous intelligence that created us. We believe that much of what we humans must do is to un-learn the negative conditioning we have inherited. Our church is meant to provide an environment that supports this kind of spiritual path. We seek to live by the Golden Rule. We show, through our actions, an attitude of love and forgiveness, and celebration of the miracle of life, with gratitude for all of God’s gifts that are so freely given.

There is no buying or selling amongst members of the church. Each gives “according to ability” and receives “according to need”. The daily actions of growing, storing and preparing food, and all the other simple practices of living become the ways by which we demonstrate the highest spiritual teachings of love through service and conscious living. Our way of life demonstrates how sharing creates abundance, satisfaction and health. Our demonstrations extend into the larger world through such service projects as the "Sharing Gardens"

Each of our fully committed members is ordained as a student minister once he or she has demonstrated an integration of the spiritual principles that run as a current through all we do. Our ministers find their natural niches of service that best utilize their skills, gifts and temperaments whether this is within the grounds of our community or through service to the larger human family. Each ordained minister must understand the principles behind the operation of our church such that he or she embodies and demonstrates these attitudes, beliefs and principles through daily interactions and ways of being. Each of us then becomes a representative of the whole; a mirror that reflects the best in everyone else we interact with.
Llyn and Chris - Church Founders
We are a spiritually-based community and everything in our lives is geared towards supporting and demonstrating our spiritual beliefs. We are exploring this path together, in a non-hierarchical way that brings forth the highest and best from each of our members. We invite people who are on a sincere spiritual path and who are ready for a reciprocal relationship with others of like-mind; people committed to living with presence and mindfulness. We wish to share the abundance of our lives with people of faith who are ready to commit to a life of sharing.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Sharing Gardens is Going to Court!

The Sharing Gardens is the active ministry of the Full Circle Family Church. To see our full Sharing Gardens site, CLICK HERE

The Sharing Gardens is in the process of applying for an exemption from paying property taxes and we need letters of support from as many people as possible by Friday, May 15, 2015 -- (sent to the email below). If you have been touched by what we do--either directly through receiving seeds, starts or vegetables; participated as a volunteer, received mentorship or guidance on starting a similar project and/or growing food organically; or you are one of the thousands of people who come to our website from all over the world each month, please write us a letter of support so we can show the court that what we do makes a positive difference in your life!

All government buildings, libraries and public service agencies such as police and fire departments are exempt from paying property taxes. Some non-profit agencies and projects are also granted exemptions if they can prove that they are providing valuable services to the public that supplement or augment government programs. We feel that the Sharing Gardens qualifies. The money that we save from paying taxes can go directly into keeping the Sharing Gardens thriving and expanding.

Here are some facts about the project:
  • The Sharing Gardens was begun in 2009 (we are now entering our seventh season).
  • We are 100% non-commercial and rely entirely on donations and volunteer labor for the success of the project.
  • We save 85% - 90% of our own seed which we share freely at seed swaps and to local gardeners. Seed-saving is one of those skills that is a dying practice but one that we hope to keep alive and teach others how to do.
  •  We grow all our own 'starts' from seed. Each year we give away literally hundreds of these 'starts' to other local sharing-type gardens and non-commercial gardeners. This amounts to over 2/3 of the starts we grow.
  • All the vegetables we grow are shared freely with volunteers and local food charities. In 2012 (the last year we kept records) we shared over 6,000 pounds of food and hundreds of heads of lettuce and other greens. Our capacity to grow and share is still expanding. For many of our recipients we provide their only source of organic produce. No one is ever charged money for the food that is grown.
  • Our educational website receives over 8,000 visits per month! People come from all over the world seeking simple, clearly illustrated information about growing food without the use of harmful chemicals. We also teach about using local materials such as leaves and grass for soil fertility to begin weaning gardeners away from using commercial products mined and shipped from far away places in unsustainable ways. We are giving new meaning to the idea of growing 'local' food (if you have to ship your soil amendments from half-way around the world, just how local and sustainable is it?)
  • We provide mentorship to other people starting up sharing-type community gardens where they live.
  • We have begun forming partnerships with the local County Health Dept. and Health Clinic to assist them in delivering a class on changing life-style habits (including food choices) to increase health and well-being in the obese and pre-diabetic.
  • Since 2013, when we began hosting Oregon State University students "service learning" projects we have had at least 17 groups of 4-6 students each spend four-hours learning about organic farming, experiencing first-hand the spirit of generosity.
  • Nine months out of the year we have volunteer sessions 1-3 times a week. Our "Share-Givers" learn about gardening, form new friendships and experience the feeling of sanctuary that the gardens provide.
Kids in the carrot patch.
We feel that one of the most important "services" we provide is one of inspiration! In a world that is overrun with competition and strategies of "giving the least to get the most" we feel it is especially important to provide a demonstration of the power of generosity. The Sharing Gardens is an oasis of hope in a desert of cynicism and despair. Each year as we plant seeds in the soil that will grow to ripeness and feed the bodies of those in our community, we are also planting seeds of love, inspiration and joy that will feed people spiritually as well. If you are one of those people who has been touched or fed by the Sharing Gardens, please send us a note about it today!

Please include:
  • Your name and where you live
  • Your title and name of organization you represent (if relevant). Letters on letter-head are particularly persuasive.
  • Email is fine, or a Word-doc or PDF. Send to: Our Email address
  • Please address your correspondence to "Whom it May Concern".
  • Send ASAP, by Friday May 15, 2015 at the latest (we have only one chance to make our case).
Regardless of the outcome of our case, we will do our best to continue to provide this public service for as long as we are able. Thank you for all the ways you have shown us your support in the past and the ways you are making the world a better place in your own way! Much love, Llyn and Chris

P.S. The Sharing Gardens is already a legal non-profit organization (a church) and can receive tax-deductible donations. This court case will simply determine if we must pay annual property-tax.

Update on the Court Case: Our case has been heard by an Oregon Magistrate and a decision been made. To read about it, follow this link and scroll down through the post on our Sharing Gardens site.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Butterfly Metaphor - Imaginal Cells and the Transformation of Society

Ever wonder how we'll ever get out of this crazy mess we're in: rampant consumerism devouring the planet, with no end in sight; ever-widening the gap between the "haves" and the "have-nots"?

Enjoy this 4-minute video by Bruce Lipton that describes the metamorphosis of the caterpillar into a butterfly and how it provides a hopeful metaphor for the current stage of our society.

And for several other inspiring videos about butterflies, CLICK HERE

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Gospel of Thomas Prayer

I believe in one God, a divine mystery
beyond all definition and rational understanding,
the heart of all that has ever existed,
that exists now, or that will ever exist.

I believe in Jesus, messenger of god's Word,
bringer of god's healing, heart of God's compassion,
bright star in the firmament of God's
prophets, mystics, and saints.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the life of God that is our innermost life,
the breath of god moving in our being,
the depth of God living in each of us.

I believe that I am called to be Jesus' twin,
allowing myself to be a vehicle of God's love,
a source of God's wisdom and truth,
and an instrument of god's peace in the world.

I believe that God's reign is here and now,
stretched out all around us for those
with eyes to see, hearts to receive it,
and hands to make it happen.

I believe in a future on this Earth when all
will be God-centered and God-conscious,
when we will learn to live in love and peace,
in the fellowship of brothers and sisters.

I believe that in death, life is changed
not taken away, and that we go
from step to step in God's life, God's love,
and God's glory for all eternity, Amen

Found in "Gospel of Thomas" by Ron Miller