Rob Bell gets me traffic. So does Mark Driscoll. So does any controversy, whether I gin it up purposefully or stumble into it accidentally. But you know what? There are a lot of Mark Driscoll watchdogs out there. There are lots of sites committed to reminding us how shitty the church too often is. And, while I’ll continue to point out theological ludicrousness when I see it, I also want to point out the good things in the world.
As a result of my travels, I meet a lot of great people, and see many great organizations and ministries. I read (or at least skim) a lot of great books, and run across some great blogs. So, beginning today, I’m going to post about one of them every Hump Day. I’m calling it Got It Goin’ On [GIGO]. Here’s the first installment:
This week, the Gravity Center in Omaha celebrates its one-year anniversary. I met Chris Heuertz a couple years ago at a Red Letter Christians gathering, and we hit it off at once (probably because we both challenged Tony Campolo, in a loving, Christian way, of course). For years, Chris ran Word Made Flesh, a Christian non-profit that, among other things, rescued innumerable girls from sexual slavery in South Asian countries.
A year ago, Chris and his spouse, Phileena — both authors of excellent books — left Word Made Flesh in the hands of others to found Gravity: A Center for Contemplative Activism. Here’s what Gravity is all about:
Gravity, a Center for Contemplative Activism exists to nurture the integral connection between mysticism and activism.Gravity grounds social engagement in Christian contemplative spirituality, to do good better by facilitating contemplative retreats, spiritual direction and pilgrimage to places of religious significance as well as places marked by profound pain and hope.
Our aim is to support the development of Christian consciousness in the 21st century by making contemplative practices accessible to individuals, communities and organizations that engage the challenging social justice perils of our time.
They run retreats, pilgrimages, and prayer sits. They’re located in Omaha, but they are connecting with people around the world. And, a reflection of the Heuertzes’ own life, they marry Protestant and Catholic spiritualities. They’ve got a beautiful letter reflecting on their first year of ministry:
We invite you to join us in making the world a better place—not only with our bare hands, but with our consent, with our silence, with our solitude, with our stillness. With a renewed imagination, with a holy ambition.
Together we can make this world a better place.
If, like so many others today, you’re interested in a Christianity that marries contemplation and action, Protestant and Catholic, then I urge you to check out the Gravity Center.