We're building meaning, hope and love by Connecting, Collaborating, and Blooming with God
A church in reverse.
The WithALL Congregation is a church in reverse - not grounded so much by belief, but rooted in a deep commitment to the spiritual practices of storytelling, justice making, lovingkindness, and community. We love God by walking with our neighbors, in community, seeking to practice Christ's way of radical inclusion and hospitality. We are a community of faith committed to cultivating well-being for ALL in Polk County, NC, as we believe in what can happen when your heart, mind, soul, and strength align. We are co-laboring with a community of partners, neighbors, and cooperative parishes that walk together through tough times into times of healing. What this means practically is you're invited to be at the table of well-being that we are cultivating. There's always a place, whether or not you have ever experienced well-being in your life. The only expectation for being part of this community of well-being - whether you are our neighbor, a community partner, a cooperative parish - is that your come willing to serve, share, and listen, as we are all God's children. Simply, we see the kingdom of God here and now, when well-being is cultivated and achieved for all our neighbors.
Jesus responded, "You must love the Lord your God WithALL your heart, WithALL your being, WithALL your strength, and WithALL your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself."
- Luke 10:27
WHAT CONNECTION MAY LOOK LIKE
Connection is never a problem from God’s side. It is our practices of connecting that make us vulnerable to the life-giving Grace of God. We connect with God through prayer, studying God’s still-speaking word in scripture, testimony, serving our neighbors, good old conversation and fellowship with one another, and a whole multitude of spiritual practices. We believe God is present everywhere and in everyone, we spend a lot of our time channeling God’s goodness from inside ourselves out into the space around us and into the hearts and souls of others. From this, we catch sight of the divine.
WHAT COLLABORATING MAY LOOK LIKE
WHAT BLOOMING MAY LOOK LIKE
We are Co-Conspirators with the Spirit, walking in the way of Jesus. We are an Ecumenical Cooperative Parish, not defined by walls of a sanctuary or dogma, but rather our understanding of the spiritual practice of loving our neighbors. While rooted in the United Methodist tradition, we work with a greater community of ecumenical church partners and other organizations focused on maintaining our well-being.
Blooming is the mystery of cultivation. We work at it, do all we can (like planting, weeding, etc.) but it is a mystery that brings the flourishing life into being. Same for us, we cultivate our spiritual life and then it is grace that sees us bear the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. It is our delight to finally turn and see that we have bloomed into what God yearns for in us in this season. And then we begin again… “becoming comfortable with the love in our lives…” Simply put blooming is about becoming who we are gifted to be in the eyes of God and sharing that love in the world.
WHO WE ARE
Get to know us.
WithALL is a new faith community, rooted in the progressive Christian tradition, springing up in Polk County. Our faith community is sponsored through the United Methodist Church, and intended to be a cooperative ministry supported by multiple congregations and denominations.
The Congregation. That’s you - whether we are your primary congregation, or you connect with us through a cooperative faith community. Help us shape this community, how we worship, and how we live out our spiritual practices of well-being. Bring yourself, your story, your gifts. We all have something to share and something to learn.
Lead Pastor. Rev. Rob Parsons
Rob is the lead instigator, co-conspirator, and visionary behind WithALL. In addition to serving WithAll, Rob is the Pastor of Saluda United Methodist Church. Most recently Rob has served as the Church Vitality Specialist for the Blue Ridge District of the United Methodist Church, and pastor of Saluda and Columbus United Methodist Churches. In addition to his pastoring churches, Rob has also served with Hospice of the Carolina Foothills, Polk County Behavioral Task Force, Head Start Policy Council, and the Board of Directors for the UNC-Asheville Campus Ministry while teaching part-time at UNC-A. Rob is an avid white water kayaker as captured in his TED Talk “Increasing My Capacity for Awe and Other Lessons Learned Kayaking on the Green River.” Rob is a graduate of Furman University and Yale Divinity where he met his wife Ali Heston. Ali teaches Humanities at UNCA and is a baker at a summer camp. They have three children: Zoe works at the Gorge Zipline is a junior at American University in DC; Caleb lives and works in Asheville as a vendor developer for LOLO; and Micah is studying to be a nurse and works with farms in Polk and Rutherford Counties. Rob finds his deepest joy in working with others to bring to reality community that connects neighbor to neighbor.
Minister of Collaboration. Rev. Meghan D. Young
As Minister of Collaboration Meghan is our connector in chief. She coordinates the development and deployment of our congregants throughout our congregation and the wider community. Meghan is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, currently serving as Pastor of The Congregational Church, UCC in Tryon, NC. She is part of WithALL because she believes in the collective power of community to transform lives when we put our faith into action.
OUR SPIRITUAL PRACTICES
Our values are our spiritual practices.
We become what we love more than what we believe.
Our values are our spiritual practices
Telling our stories
Co-collaborating with the Spirit, following in the way of Jesus
Loving our neighbor with our heart, time, gifts, and resources
Providing a supportive community of well being
Prophetic truth telling and justice making
Sharing and listening
1+1=3. We use our gifts, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to create a whole that is more than the sum of its parts. We seek to foster transformation.
Welcoming persons of all ages, races, social and economic circumstances, sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions, abilities and faith backgrounds to participate in the life and ministry of our community.