Dogma and Dedications
The Church of the Harvest is more of a fellowship than an organized church. On a number of levels we do not really meet the expectations that many people have of an organization known as a church. . .or even of other types of organizations. If you approach us using your past experiences with religion as a guide, you may find yourself confused or disappointed.
Our eccentricities arise, in part, from the fact that we are a community of inwardly-focused meditators. We are what is known as an orthopractic religion as opposed to an orthodox religion. In other words, our community is based upon the practice of meditation in communication with the divine which has very little to do with formal doctrine. We believe that communication with God is a very private matter between each individual soul and his or her Creator. Outside of monasteries perhaps, groups of introspective individuals rarely come together for group activities. However, we believe worshiping individually can be done in a community setting, and/or can be enhanced by contact with others engaged in a similar pursuit.
Some have argued that in general, several very constructive religions have been betrayed by the weight of accumulated doctrinal positions over time. In other words, many well-intentioned, forward-thinking faith communities lose their bearing as they attempt to find common ground. At the Church of the Harvest, we take the stance that respecting each other’s free will is required of us by the Creator-of-us-all. Therefore, we do not have an official system of belief or doctrine, exactly. In fact, a fair portion of CH members belong to other faith traditions and/or churches.
We like to think that individual members often bring to Church of the Harvest, the best of their prior or current religious instruction/experience. As part of this “spiritual melting pot” many of our members intentionally avoid using language that attempts to shape the religious belief system of others. Even when referring to the divine, we often vary the words we use so as to honor many perspectives, such as “the Creator of Us All or Creative-Source-of-the-Universe, God, Allah, The All-That-Is, the Universe, Nature, Jehovah, our Father/Mother, your higher power, God of Your Heart, the Supreme Being, etc.
That said, it is impossible to approach our work together without having some commonality. Science tells us that for a good marriage, you don’t need the same interests or even the same beliefs. . .but couples do best when they share certain core values.