One of the first things the pioneers did was to
build a new church
The very fact that you stopped by here makes you a bit of a pioneer. Welcome! That you were curious enough about our project to check it out suggests that you must have inherited some of that same wanderlust and spirit of adventure that compelled so many of our stout-hearted forebears to leave behind the comforts of their old life and strike out in search of something new and different.
More often than not, the change they were looking for was spiritual. Their attempt to practice their religion was not working well back in the homeland and they desperately wanted to find a place where they could worship in peace, in their own way, freely, and openly. So pioneers they became. In a sense, that is what the Lucan Family Chapel is about as well.
Once it gets going, it will be a throw-back to those bygone days when every little town and hamlet had a simple wooden or rock church with stained glass windows, a steeple, and a bell that woke the faithful on Sunday morning and beckoned them to the service. As back then, our congregation will be tiny, no more than a couple dozen friends and neighbors. But the scope of our vision is way more than that...
It begins with a lifestyle centered around pastoral simplicity, beauty and tranquility which we call the Naoi Meadow Way, and goes on to embrace old-fashioned Christian values, a genuine concern for the greater good, and stewardship of nature and the earth. And, most exciting of all, it involves a genuine love for Jesus, the simple teacher from Nazareth, and what, we believe, was to have been his true, full message.
You have arrived at a place where few have gone before. But that's only because we are just getting started. Welcome aboard!
If you are even mildly intrigued so far and would like to learn more about the Lucan Family Chapel and Naoi Meadow Way, a good way to stay involved is to become a co-traveller with our mission. That way you can easily follow along as the project develops and get to know us better along the way. Hope we see you soon!
What we expect it to be like:
OUR WEEKLY SERVICE
In nice weather we will often congregrate outdoors in a beautifully decorated pavilion, or even beneath the canopy of a giant oak tree. In this way, we encourage our members to take seriously their role as God's appointed stewards of positive nature, (i.e peace, beauty and life) and to feel connected to His handicraft. On other days, though, our tiny little group (generally no more than 20 to 30 friends and neighbors) would be just as likely to get together in the community chapel they probably helped build.
The music will be a skillfully mixed program of soft New Age instrumentals, Gregorian chants, hymns (with particular emphasis on old Celtic and Welsh hymns), and occasionally even a pop song or theatrical piece that inspires with a positive, uplifting message (Imagine, for instance, "A Hero Lies in You" or "Sound of Music"). Singing by the congregants will be done sparingly, usually only once or twice in the course of a service. When we do sing, we remain seated and will usually be accompanied, not by an organ or piano, but by a recording of a full choir and orchestra. This serves to put the spotlight more on the beauty of the music than on individuals and their voices.
The ambience will be subdued and reposeful. Conversing within the sanctuary should be kept to a minimum and should be in a quiet tone, the soft near-whisper we often associate with a library or wake. The prevailing sound should be the music, not the din of talking or hubbub. Lighting would be very low with candles aplenty and indirect light filtering through stained-glass windows, casting a faint, warm glow over the room in keeping with the soft and reverent background music.
The pastor, too, will speak to the group in a soft, relaxed tone and, rather than shouting a booming sermon from behind a distant pulpit, he or she will commonly talk in much the way we imagine Jesus probably did with his disciples--in a soft, conversational voice, and from a casual, intimate one-on-one position right there in our midst with everyone gathered around (Remember reading circle back in first grade?)
The sermon will typically not be a sermon at all, but rather an inspirational talk lasting perhaps 15 minutes or so. You can expect the pastor's words to be surprisingly light on scriptional references and 'preaching', and centering much more on what the historical man Jesus was all about and suggested ways we can achieve "The Right Life" by following his example. Often, the subject material will be geared to the season or a holiday, or toward our stewardship of nature, societal dilemmas of our age, and events happening in the world. Often, there will be accompanying big-screen videos as well.
THE MESSAGE WE TEACH
The Right Life is the goal to which every NMember and their family should aspire. It means not just being healthy, happy and successful, but putting others' needs and the common good ahead of one's own selfish desires. We teach that deeds and works do matter---that To whom much is given, much is required. It also means keeping one's home a sanctuary from the chaos and misguided value system so prevalent in today's increasingly corrupt society. Before we allow something into our home, we ask "Would Jesus approve?"
Be a person of goodwill and good nature. Laugh a lot and keep a smile all day long. Be nice to everyone around you. Be humble. Be a steward of the earth, nature and all living things. Be on a level above the crassness of your mainstream, less-inspired coworkers and neighbors.
Improve the world in every way you can. And avoid all unsavory things that are beyond your control. In other words, live by
Be like Jesus. He was a healer and a consoler, and we should be, too. When someone needs advice or help, be their Jesus. It is our mission to pick up where he left off and continue his ministry on earth. Learn all you can about his original, unadulterated message, heed his invitation to walk with him in his meadow, and strive to emulate him. Do unto others as you would hope Jesus would do unto you.
THE FINER POINTS OF NM DOCTRINE
A new NMember, embarking on the adventure, will immediately discover to their surprise why we call it an adventure. There are hundreds of little ins and outs that make our approach unique and exciting. Here's one example: We believe that things throughout the universe come in 'threes', and we call them "trines"; there are literally dozens of them. One of the most common, for instance, is the Trine of Positive Nature: Peace, Beauty and Life (You will learn to become God's steward of those things and to keep them sacred in your home). But that's just one. There are also the Trine of the Mysteries, the Trine of Harmony, the Trine of Misery, the Trine of the Temps, and so on. There are many, many others.
As a student of NM, you will also learn about the magic place in our dreams called Idyllion, as well as all the other things we take seriously and incorporate into our practice and daily lives: Like, how to imagine like a child. Why we suspect that the biblical description of Jesus may be wrong. The G.U.T.T. and how it became G.O.D. What we mean by Refined Christianity. Why we encourage home-schooling. What we mean when we say that the eccentric minority should always humbly defer to the prevailing majority. Whether it is best to enforce laws harshly, or leniently. What are Nimbees and Indees, and what do they have to do with Jesus? Why we condemn narcissism, hubris and over-reliance on technology. Why buildings should only be so tall and vehicles only so loud. Why Christmas for us lasts twice as long as for other Christians. Why Luke is so important that we named our church after him? What is The Right Life, what's in it for us, and how do we achieve it?
These are the sort of details that are explained in the catechism of NM, the learning process you go through as you prepare to enter the meadow of Jesus. But, that process actually can begin online right now. There are audio lessons (podcasts) that you can listen to in bed at night or driving to and from work which you are almost certain to find thought-provoking. They are somewhat hidden away and reserved just for the serious. But be sure to ask about them when you visit us in our ORI Forum.