As a community we have developed an ethos which guides our life and actions. We were inspired and challenged by neo-monastic communities who were developing 'rules' to strengthen their life together. However, 'rule' isn't a very Grace-like word and we always want to reinvent things! So we came up with the idea of an ethos or statement of values.
The short list:
- Create - Grace values creativity
- Participate - Worship should not be a 'show' or just 'led from the front'. Grace aims to minimise the separation between those leading and the "congregation" through interaction and opportunities to contribute. The same is true of other areas of Grace.
- Engage - Grace wants to maintain an outward focus by engaging with everyday life and connecting with culture. Grace offers hospitality and supports members of the community/ network in their own areas of engagement.
- Risk - Grace gives itself permission to push its own edges, take risks, not be afraid to fail, think outside the Grace box, try new things, reinvent Grace
The long list:
- Creativity - as above
- Participation - as above
- Risk taking/experimental - as above
- Holistic Christian faith - life isn't split into sacred and secular. We expect to encounter God in all areas of life and culture and hence those aspects are likely to inform and be part of our worship and other activities
- Minimal exclusion - Grace is shaped by the people that are involved. It's an open door, all contributions and people are welcome. We recognise that Grace is different to other groups and other churches so It won't be to everyone's taste - some will self exclude.
- Consensus - everyone is to a degree constrained by being part of a wider community, but the way we plan is to all bring ideas/contributions. At times this may take courage and it requires a level of sensitivity to other people who are perhaps less confident in bringing ideas. Our ideas are a gift offered to God and the community. We make decisions together.
- Low permission threshold - we are not into controlling what people do. We want to encourage involvement without things being policed.
- Freedom of speech - sometimes there are hidden issues in Grace whether because of personal power or gender. Grace values listening and speech - in other words we wanat to be honest, and listen to each other.
- Hospitality - to one another, to visitors, to the wider church
- Outward impulse - a growing aspiration of Grace is to include other things than developing creative worship as part of who we are.
- High quality - Grace understands that how worship and other activities are presented affect how they are received. We endeavour to produce events and items that are of a high quality of presentation and accessible style.