Announcing Crave Sanford!
Next Up: Sanford!
I have long been aware that my generation gets behaving and belonging before believing (to borrow some words from the brilliant Rev. Ben Collins). I know that intimately because that is part of my own story, even in realizing I was called to ministry. If you asked me when I was 21 if I wanted to be a United Methodist pastor in a local church, after laughing at you, I would have mumbled some curse words under my breath and rolled my eyes at how irrelevant the church is in solving the world’s real problems.
25,000 kids die globally of preventable diseases and hunger every damn day.
2.5 million kids and youth experience homelessness in the US every year.
Even though the Fair Housing Act and the Voting Rights Act were passed 50 years ago, our neighborhoods are still painfully segregated.
Fresh out of college, I worked full-time for a shelter for youth under 21, and I gave approximately zero cares about believing anything that didn’t lead to some kind of liberation for 18-year-old single parents living under bridges and in bus terminals. What I did care about though, was deeply investing my life and my passion into making the world a better place for them and for all of us.
Now I realize that’s a pretty run-of-the-mill experience for folks who have gotten burned out on organized faith, but often not on Jesus, the pursuit of a beautiful belonging, or the desire to make Good in this world.
After a few years at that shelter, I reached what is called “Compassion Fatigue” by people who know what they’re talking about and I ended up in a therapist’s chair because my best friend loved me enough to call and say, “Yeah, Richard? Its an emergency.” I realized that I would not survive without a community that literally carried me on the roughest days and a deep abiding formation that could connect me to Something Bigger than myself. That’s when I began to grasp what “the church” should be and could be: a place of belonging, formation, and enacting goodness now.
This is why I’m so excited that Crave’s next home will be in Sanford, Florida, where we can create a space to ask:
What does it mean to commit to a place and a people in a transient, globalized world?
What would it look like to gather with other folks trying to make the world a better place, even if they’re still figuring out what they believe along the way?
How can folks who so often create belonging for others (i.e. the world-changers gathering, growing, healing, investing, incubating, innovating) find a place of belonging for themselves?
How can the church invest in the big dreams of people who may never join their church but have already joined the mission to bring Goodness here, now?
We’re not sure about the answers, but we’re excited to ask these questions and more in Crave’s next cohort of spiritually curious world-changers in the best town in Central Florida: Sanford. (Try to fight me on this if you want, but you’ll see: we’re awesome).
Want to learn more? Let’s grab a coffee or a swing on the waterfront and dream together.
Director, Crave Sanford
January 2019 – Sade Adeyemi
January 2019 – Chantel Aquart
December 2018 – Bill Walker
November 2018 – Frank Bailey, Jr.
My name is Frank Bailey, Jr. and I CRAVE to make the world a better place by teaching life skills through plant cultivation with Grow Orlando. We hire disadvantaged youth and teach them how to harvest their seeds of potential and become Stewards of Creation. While cultivating food and taking our students through classes of finance, personal and professional development, I didn’t know (but soon found out) was that my organization CRAVE’d for me to be a better person with the tact and foresight of a leader still packed away in my own seeds of potential. As I hack and strike at my internal earth to plant my seeds of potential, I uncovered people and programs that embraced my torrential struggles of breakthrough and nourish my CRAVE for growth with cultivation tips – and what a trip it’s been. Here’s a snapshot of CRAVE how it’s impacted my life:
When our spiritual formation gathers
Fellow leaders join me in our spiritual place
A place of vulnerability and love in peace
Knowing our latter lives will rise in grace
We center our souls in the Spirit of Trust
Hoping our scattered minds will collect themselves
And through each other’s joys and pains we find unity in growth.
What a blessing for God to invite the Universe to conspire in His favor in our lives for the betterment of others
Collectively going through professional transformation
And like good samaritans
Our path is intertwined with supporters CRAVEing to see us grow and succeed
Finding time for us in their busy lives to satiate our CRAVE for a better world
My samaritan’s name is Tom,
And our talks grow peace and calm in the mindstorm of my entrepreneurial pursuits.
It suits my cause to change lives through food,
He extends his arm, and helps me pursue stronger connections with game-changing relationships
He equips, converses and strips down the barriers I once faced alone,
Where one was weak, we are strong.
I thank Michele and the CRAVE board for buying into the success of people like me who want to see a better world,
But must first unfurl the embetterment of self.
With you, we are receiving:
Clarity in strategy,
Reassurance in individuality,
Abundance in opportunity,
Virtue in community, and
Eternal love through the family culture created through CRAVE.
Ask, and you shall receive.
I asked for wisdom to carry out God’s deeds here on Earth and I was sent CRAVE.
I pray for love, peace, and purpose for you, dear reader
And I hope you consider Making CRAVE a part of your future.
P.S. If you don’t believe in God, it’s okay
I’ve found equal ground
I believe God is Love, so if you wish you can switch all of the words that say God and change it to Love.
Blessings to You.