OUR LIFE AS A COMMUNITY
We believe that when Jesus calls us to follow him, he calls us to follow as a community. Riza is about interweaving our lives so that the Kingdom of God can become real in our relationships and in our neighborhood. We are meant to be connected to others, living in response to God, vibrant with peace, joy, faith, and love.
We try to live this call to community by interweaving three important strands of our lives: our day to day common life, our practices of spirituality, and our work for God’s mission.
At Riza, we are intentionally overlapping our daily lives with other community members. We believe that it is the sharing of ordinary, everyday life that provides a unique context for God to shape us as his People. We are committed to sharing common rhythms of work and play, care and celebration, worship and chores.
For this reason, we have committed to living within walking distance of each other. Whether in the same house/apartment or in the same neighborhood, we choose to live with each other by sharing common meals, helping with common chores, or simply having fun together.
We believe we are made for connection, and in the face of a culture dominated by loneliness, lack of relationship, and disconnection we are fighting for something different. It may seem ordinary, but we believe things like shared space, time spent eating together, and shared responsibility for a household are all ways of forging meaningful connections and creating lasting community.
We believe that our faith as followers of Jesus should be integrated with every area of our lives. We strive to be a community where prayer thrives and we learn from the ancient practices of the Church.
One of the tragedies of our modern way of life is that we largely go it alone spiritually. At Riza, we interweave our spirituality into daily, weekly, and yearly rhythms so that we are always traveling this journey together. We do that in many ways, whether it is through our weekly prayers, our times of spiritual discussion and study, our practice of spiritual disciplines, or the celebration of different seasons in the Church calendar.
We try to seek God together, rooting our practices in the ancient ways of the Church so that our spirituality is more than a passing fad. We believe that following Jesus is something that takes discipline, perseverance, and intentional effort – and that we desperately need encouragement, accountability and support from others.
God has a mission to make his love, peace, joy, and wholeness real in the world. We believe he calls us to be a part of that mission with our whole lives, right where we are. Jesus didn't just talk about the Kingdom of God - he enacted it, he embodied it in the kind of person he was.
We are trying to follow Jesus, not just by talking about the good news of God's Kingdom, but by living it. We believe that our community should be "good news" to our neighborhood, to the people we work with, and to the people we know. We try to do this by practicing hospitality, caring for the foster care community, and serving others.
For us, living missionally starts with being a community that welcomes foster youth and foster families into our midst. We believe that caring for these most vulnerable in our society is one of the most straightforward ways of living out our faith and practicing "true religion" (James 1:27).
It can be easy for a statement of ideals to sound like we have it all figured out or that we have it all together. We don't.
We certainly aren't perfect at following Jesus. We have a long way to go in many areas! And we don't live up to our ideals of community, spirituality, and mission all the time. We are a community in the process of being transformed, with roots still growing and buds just sprouting. Thankfully, our God is one of unsurpassable grace, a God that keeps pulling us forward by the work of His Spirit and His Word.