Exploring the ICN WeSpace Experience
What is an Integral Christian Network (ICN) WeSpace experience all about? This week Luke and Paul (cofounders of ICN) began a Saturday writing series on ICN WeSpace Groups. The first article in the series was titled Why We Need the “We.” I welcome this series, seeing it as an opportunity for me to approach the topic with a beginner’s mind, or, more to my issue, with a beginner’s heart. This first article of the series did not disappoint.
Knowing that this article would be the theme for the ICN Sunday Gathering, I adjusted my Sunday schedule to attend this gathering. Forty-five of us showed up, and after a brief time for prayers, music, and a presentation of sections of the Why We Need the “We” article, we broke into discussion groups. I was put into a group with six others, most of whom I did not know.
The sharing among our group of seven was rich. At one point I shared my own challenges about experiencing a “We” – my challenges being that I come from a strong foundation of Missouri Synod Lutheranism with its emphasis on “right beliefs” about matters of faith and salvation. This challenge is exacerbated with my attachment disorder growing up, which left me with a deficit of feeling connections in relating with others – and with God.
In trying to overcome these two challenges all my adult life I had become a solid head person. Being taught that having “right” Lutheran dogma was sacrosanct, my spiritual development was mostly mental. And fortunately for me I loved learning about Lutheran doctrines and the bible – I have always been drawn to big ideas such as God, spirituality, and the cosmos. However, while my conscious ego mind could learn the fact that, for example, “God is love,” I did not know what God’s love was experientially – I did not know God’s love for me as a feeling. Sunday morning in my seven-person group I shared my longing to know God as well as the challenges I have always faced in experiencing and feeling this “knowing.” I felt received by the group, and some nodded in agreement in having some form of the same challenges I face.
I was most interested in what others in our small group wanted to share on this important topic of WeSpace groups. Various experiences were offered. For example, one expressed a strong sense of needing a WeSpace group, a safe place where everyone would bring their own intention to show up authentically. For another it was feeling most energized when in an authentic likeminded group. For one it was a deep sense of needing each other, all of us needing each other for our collective and personal development. For another it was an avenue for experiencing a head-to-heart transition.
I left the Sunday Gathering with a broader understanding of what these WeSpace groups are all about and their central role in or ICN community. I see many levels of consciousness and so much diversity among us, all coming together in a shared WE-Whole. What new emerges from such WEness? How will we each experience this? How will it affect us individually and as a community of WeSpace groups? All of this is discovered as our ICN WeSpace community continues to grow and evolve year by year.