Aleem Ali December 19, 2018

Hello beautiful people,

One of my favourite quotes is from Arundhati Roy in which she states:

Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. Maybe many of us won’t be here to greet her, but on a quiet day, if I listen very carefully, I can hear her breathing.

Over the past 2 years and 3 months I’ve experienced firsthand the truth of Arundhati’s statement. Not only can I hear another world breathing – I can walk amongst, converse with, and embrace her.

Over the past 2 years and 3 months I’ve learnt that it’s possible to model genuine welcome and inclusion in a faith community.

I’ve learnt that people can have differing opinions (even on scripture) without feeling the need to be right or win an argument. More than that, people can openly disagree, stay in community and not be excommunicated.

I’ve witnessed children and teenagers share messages and lead conversations that have cut to the heart of an issue better than any adult, and moved people to tears.

I’ve witnessed: women; people of colour; people living with disabilities; people who are lesbian, gay, transgender, queer; and, people who are homeless – find a place of value and belonging.

I’ve gained vastly more than I’ve given.

I’ve also learnt that it’s really difficult to tear down traditional structures and institutional thinking. And that even when the intent is shared, and the perceived or default leader declares ‘the Senior Pastor is dead’ – people still return to what they know and feel comfortable with.

I also know that the current model is unsustainable. We’ve ventured away from a traditional structure and we’ve paused on the side of the road, halfway into the journey.

We have yet to realise collective ownership and collective leadership. And this is something that we need to consider and discuss:

  • if the current model is unsustainable what is the future of FOUND;
  • what might it look like to have collective ownership and collective leadership; and,
  • how do we get there?

I share this with you because I am passionate about the FOUND community and my love for you compels me to be transparent. I also look around me and see amazing people with much to offer and feel a deep confidence that we can embrace these questions in a genuine manner, and in the spirit of community.

This community formed because we increasingly observed and experienced that the defining factor of “being a Christian” was no longer in line with Jesus’ own statements. Who and how we love had been replaced by statements of hubris, hypocrisy and enforcing a rigid ‘morality’ for the purpose of excluding difference.

Our intention was, and remains, to be a radically welcoming and inclusive community.

With that in mind, we’ve created a survey to seek your ideas and opinions on the future of FOUND. I invite you complete the survey with the heart in which it was written – a desire to love and include all people, especially those who are most often excluded.

Much love,