The Spiritual Center is spearheaded by longtime leaders in churches (including Dave and Grace Schmelzer, who founded what is now Reservoir Church in Cambridge, MA and built it into being the largest church in town and one covered by major media outlets).
We’re part of a larger network of churches (and spiritual centers and gatherings of friends) called
Blue Ocean Faith. BOF stole our name from a business strategy group called Blue Ocean Strategy, with offices around the world. We loved their idea of growth coming as we “fish where others don’t fish” and our churches have most commonly been in places where churchgoing historically hasn’t thrived (like Cambridge, for instance). A couple summers back, the Blue Ocean Strategy people upped our ante, as it were. They’ve been very kind to us after our thievery, to the point of featuring us on their website and newsletter. And they wondered if we might want to actually work their central idea a bit. They correctly noted that churches have faced increasing downward pressure in places like Europe and almost all European colonies, and that perhaps that was increasingly becoming true in America as well. Perhaps we were missing an opportunity by not exploring, in their language, other “product lines” within the larger category of churches? Wonderful thinkers like the late Phyllis Tickle have wondered along these lines as well, if perhaps from different angles--Ms. Tickle noted that every 500ish years, churches have tended to reinvent themselves, and that we’re now at the 500 year mark.
Their challenge was so bold it was irresistible to us! And so, following their process, we discovered what have seemed like unexplored opportunities in the longstanding contemplative tradition (you’ll note another tab here on a historical take on that).
That’s led to a pilot group that, if things go well, might indeed become become something thriving along these lines. Here’s hoping! But it’s been fun to learn some rich, fresh things about contemplative spirituality along the way. It’s been so fun that we’re putting out weekly short videos along these lines. Check out the 5-Minute Spirituality videos here.