Community of C@PH & the Selah Center
Vision: Inter-Faith Hospitality and Open Awareness for all Peoples
Thematic Movement: To adapt to the context we are within, to experiment with contextualized adaptations, and to evolve through transformative movements of grace, vulnerability, and hospitality.
Communal Orientation: Fostering a local and global community is a difficult task, but it is one that we are committed to enacting. In the words of William Stringfellow, we seek to be, “Dynamic and erratic, spontaneous and radical, audacious and immature, committed if not altogether coherent. Ecumenically open and often experimental, visible here and there, now and then but unsettled institutionally. Almost monastic in nature but most of all enacting a fearful hope for society” (An Ethic for Christians and Other Aliens in a Strange Land). And so, we oscillate along a continuum of individual and communal practices (askesis) and faith expressions that are enacted within our world.
Direction: As a Christian community we are open to all peoples regardless of religion, race, political view, sexual orientation, or spiritual perspective. We seek to remain open and vulnerable to the alterity of the Other, and we offer/risk hospitality in an intentional attempt to create space(s) of dialogue and spiritual growth. Our goal is to offer ourselves and our space(s) for the nurturing of deeper inner awareness in order to translate personal insight into external expressions of love, justice, and charity for ourselves and for those around us.
We seek continually to (re)interpret religious, theological, and philosophical perspectives in order to learn and practice new ways of being in the world. Our intent is to shape ourselves through various communal practices and disciplines in order to live Otherwise than we have been conditioned to live. We understand philosophy as a love of wisdom lived out in the world. We understand theology as a creative expression of our lives through faith as trust and right action, and we interpret religion as the symbolic vehicle through which our lives might be communally communicated.
We further attempt to participate in the “heretical imperative,” which we borrow from the Northumbria Community. The “heretical imperative” states: We live the vulnerability of embracing the ‘heretical imperative’ by challenging assumed truth; being receptive to constructive criticism; affirming that relationship matters more than reputation and living openly among people as ‘Church without walls’. By embracing the “heretical imperative“ we seek to affirm the multivocality of life and the pluriform expressions of faith and justice.
Purposeful Action: The purpose of the Selah Center is to experiment with various types of communal expressions within the world through active forms of meditation, contemplation, and inter-religious dialogue. We understand that worldviews are highly diverse, divergent, and fluid. With this in mind, all of our practices are focused on living Otherwise than we are used to living. So often, in our Western-capitalistic society, we are focused solely on ourselves and consuming those things we desire. After we are done consuming, we move on. Our religious and spiritual expressions also tend to be based on the capitalistic model of consumption. The Selah Center seeks to alter this perception of reality in order to teach ourselves vulnerability and hospitality to ourselves and those around us. Rather than consuming, we must (re)learn the sacred art of letting go.