In short, our dream as a community is to see God's future world begin to emerge here and now both by planting and cultivating a vibrant network of house churches where people can experience a deeply formative life together in the family of faith as well as by creating a rich liturgical space on Sunday nights where we can be drawn together into the mystery of Christ Jesus.
To learn more about how Bloom is structured to support the house churches, click below.
rule of life
For hundreds of years, Christians in various traditions have bound themselves to certain practices that would ensure the structure of their lives was whole, sound, and oriented to God. Practices like prayer and fasting, solitude and silence, communion and confession, sacrifice and service have helped people ground their lives in reality and cultivate a rich awareness of God. Therefore, even in our modern context, a deliberate dedication to certain practices is often called “a rule of life”.
For a while now we have found people at Bloom expressing their thirst for God but unsure of what to do. We have also heard rumblings and whispers of people hungry to experience discipleship—a life on life transformational experience with Christ—but unsure of where to begin. So, a thirst for God? A relationship of growing in Christlikeness? A desire for growth in the Christian faith? Enter the Rule of Life.
To be clear, the Rule is not a list of things to do. It is not meant to feel burdensome or to heap guilt or shame upon you when you mess up. Discipline, especially in a spiritual sense, is difficult. We are a wandering and weary people who rebel against God and His ways despite our best intentions. Yet throughout the history of the Church, the Rule of Life has been found to be a life-giving tool that builds discipline, hope, a swelling of heart, and community through a rich, Biblical encounter with God.
It is our hope that if you are seeking a deeply life-giving experience with God and others that you enter into the Rule. The Rule is a tactile means of spiritual formation in which our lives are increasingly oriented towards and drawn into God, in order to bring the whole of our lives into an ever-increasing likeness of Jesus.
What we have created is a Rule of Life that is made up of some essential components of the Christian tradition. We have centered the core practices around the core values of Bloom and believe these practices to address the heart of the Christian faith. Then, once you gain momentum and begin to experience life through these practices, we have created different avenues for you to add to your Rule of Life so that you are true to the journey God has you on, the ways you sense Him calling forth more life in you, and the areas in which He is using you to partake in building His Kingdom.
Through the Rule, let God simply breathe life into you. Allow God to work through your dedication and commitment to new rhythms. Let love and desire lead you. Remember that there is abundant grace and peace for you. The Holy Spirit rests upon you. God invites you to be with Him. Be free. Have fun.
In this video, Andrew Arndt talks about the creation of Bloom's first Rule of Life. It's a great framing of what the Rule of Life is for us. He mentions a Facebook group at the end of the video. We don't have this anymore, as we feel that the Rule of Life is best expressed and lived out within the context of the community of the house church. So if you haven't entered in to the Rule, we invite you to open a conversation in your house church about how this shared life may be lived together.
Verbal\Visual is a quarterly release creative publication open for community submission.
The project is meant to allow the Bloom church body to contribute and participate in the creative beauty of the church. Verbal\Visual is a print/digital publication in an open submission format to allow the people of Bloom to offer their own unique expressions of beauty and creativity within our community. Primarily, V\V is looking for content that is both of the written language and visual arts; spanning photography, painting, drawing, poetry, short story, song lyrics, and even recipes, that reflect the creativity and heart of the submitter. Each issue will be released quarterly in conjunction with the fall, winter, spring, and summer seasons with a specific theme running throughout each issue.
The theme for Fall 2017 and our first issue of Verbal\Visual is water.
Baptism, rivers of living water, Peter stepping out into the stormy sea, Jesus calming those same treacherous waters and walking on the waves. The apostle Paul talks about this life being but a mist. The church has used water as a metaphor for the things of God for centuries‑ and for good reason.
Water brings destruction, but also gives life. A heavy rain can bring feelings of fear and anxiety, but the calm and clear waters of an alpine lake bring feelings of peace and serenity.
There's much to be inspired by in water, and that's why we've chosen it as the theme for our first issue.
For this first issue, we're looking for visual art and writings around the theme of water. Examples of what to submit include but are not limited to:
- Verbal: short stories, poems, song lyrics, recipes, editorials, etc.
- Visual: paintings, illustrations, printmaking, photographs, etc.
To submit to this month's theme, click the button below, or email your submission to firstname.lastname@example.org. The submission deadline for this issue is September 11, 2017.
Before making your first submission, make sure you check out the additional submission details below the "Submit Your Idea" button. If you have additional questions about Verbal\Visual, contact Seth at email@example.com.
Each quarterly release will revolve around a curated theme. Submissions should reflect the theme through means of the submitting writer/visual artist. Written submissions might be subject to limited editing. However, it is important that all written material be checked and double checked before submitting. Submissions should include a title for the “piece,” name of author or artist, and a brief explanation artist’s statement if applicable. There will be a short statement section that gives biographical information and background on the process. We ask that you give as much information as would be appropriate for editors to put together this section of V\V. Editors may contact submitters for more information or possible edits.