I hope this finds you well and that you’re enjoying getting ready for the Holidays!
I’d like to start by saying it’s my PRIVILEGE to lead Growth Co. I’m beyond thankful to have each of you in my life, and to be growing on our journeys alongside one another! Thank you for allowing me to be a part of such an amazing group of people. I can honestly say that I’ve learned so much from each of you, and to me, that’s invaluable. I’m constantly inspired by the way you’ve loved one another and supported Growth Co. as a whole. You’re shaping me into the best version of myself that I can be!
Second, I’d like to say that I don’t enjoy talking about money. EVER. So this is extremely uncomfortable for me…However, it’s Giving Tuesday, and this is a great opportunity to clarify/explain a few things that you deserve to know about.
Giving Tuesday is a movement that unleashes the power of radical generosity around the world. It allows us to reimagine a world built upon shared humanity and generosity.
We’ve just completed our first year as an organization. During this time, we’ve grown to 166 individuals in their 20s/30s who’ve made an intentional choice to grow in their lives during our in-person and online gatherings.
For this to be possible, we’ve relied on grants, local business partnerships, and funding via West Church LKN in Mooresville, NC to operate. Unfortunately, the financial support we are currently receiving won’t last forever and isn’t sustainable.
The purpose of Growth Co. is to connect to ourselves and one another through intentional conversations that build meaningful (and lasting) relationships. We do that so we can explore the spectrum of spirituality as an organic community. THIS will never change.
On this Giving Tuesday, I’m asking for you to support Growth Co. in whatever capacity you can. It costs around $100,000 a year for Growth Co. to operate. This includes – but not limited to – the “6 Pack” (FREE subscription box) materials & shipping, gatherings, marketing, new member gifts, continuing ed (I am a licensed local pastor), etc.
Our “dream” goal is for Growth Co. members to support Growth Co. in some way, however small or large. I would never ask you to do something that I wouldn’t do…and I want you to know that I do give a portion of my salary back to Growth Co. for missional purposes. I whole-heartedly believe if we work together, we can continue to deepen the connections already made and reach new folks who may benefit from Growth Co.
If you’re willing to support Growth Co. in a new way, our Venmo is
If you have any questions, please let me know. I know this is a tough topic to talk about…and because of that, I would love to talk about how to grow together and explore new and different opportunities.
Saudade (pronounced “sow-DAH-djee”), noun, a feeling of longing, melancholy, or nostalgia for a happiness that once was – or even a happiness that you merely hoped for. First recorded in the 13th century poetry collection Cancioneiro da Ajuda, saudade was popularized in the 15th century when Portuguese ships sailed to Africa and Asia and those left behind felt the loss of loved ones who departed.
According to philosopher Kierkegaard, there is “bliss in melancholy and sadness”. Scientists over the years have concurred with Kierkegaard and researchers from the University of New South Wales found that sadness can help improve attention to detail, increase perseverance, and promote generosity. Most of us will have experienced a bittersweet pleasure in moments of melancholy – reminiscing, flickering through old photographs, or caring about anything or anyone enough to miss it/them when they’re gone. The only way to avoid sadness and regret completely is to avoid living life – we only appreciate the light if we’ve experienced shade. This is why saudade matters.
There’s an ambiguity to this concept/feeling – or rather, a complexity – and an understanding that some losses are unavoidable, and that that’s okay. Psychologists agree that there is merit to this way of thinking. Acknowledging that sadness is part of our reality and that it’s “okay to not be okay”. In fact, it is actually healthy. It helps us come to terms with the fact that some degree of suffering in this life is normal and that we’ll get through it. This doesn’t mean that we care any less – we can mourn and experience full-blown saudade, then get on with our day.
Saudade has been described as a “presence of absence” – but not in a pity party sense. More like the realization of how important the people in your life are and the realization that your special moments are taken for granted. It makes you grateful for what you have, and aware it might be gone in a heartbeat. This is an approach to happiness that’s been around for millennia, with the stoic philosopher Seneca recommending that we imagine losing everything – regularly – so we learn to value what we have.
In Portugal and Brazil, saudade makes them feel things more deeply…both the sadness and the joy. And it reminds us to celebrate what we have. We’re always ready to dance and we’re always ready to love.
I like the idea of celebrating happiness past as well as present. Saudade feels like a love letter to loss; a necessary slackening to stay afloat and a way to acknowledge the people we care for as well as our hopes and dreams – whether they’d have turned out the way we envision or not. I miss my grandpa, I miss my old friend who I can never be close to again. I ache for both. But I’m grateful that they were in my life for the time that they were. Now, I’d quite like to go have a cry for them. And then, maybe, I’ll feel like dancing. This, is saudade.
September is here and we are ready to gather! This month, we have 2 online options, 2 in-person options and 1 missional/volunteer option for all of you! We have loved getting to know you all in our gathering environments and we hope to continue to get to know you and new friends this month through the following pathways:
Sunday 9/4 @ 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM EST – We will have an online gathering via zoom
Tuesday 9/13 @ 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM EST – We will have an online gathering via zoom
For our zooms, we find it best to go on a loose schedule to keep things on track.
7:00 – 7:15 PM – Introductions for new folks/folks who haven’t met one another. You will never be forced to speak on a zoom, but we DO wish to know you and would love to make connections through our gatherings.
7:15 PM – 7:20 PM – Sharing concerns and celebrations. We want to be there for you to support you through things that are going great and things that are cause for concern. It’s important to have support for ALL things that happen in life, and we want you to know it is important to us to provide that space. Part of building meaningful relationships is sharing the good and the bad that you may be experiencing.
7:20 PM – 8:00 PM – Brewing Conversations! We don’t always have a specific topic that we’d like to discuss on the zooms. There are times when the conversation organically leads to great discussion topics and we just spend time hanging out with one another. For example, our last zoom lead us to a laughing session over our serial killer traits! This was fun and unexpected! Other times, there are specific topics and questions that we will encourage the group to talk about. For example, we have had zooms in the past with topics like: “Being on your ‘A’ Game” , “Killing Them with Kindness” , “How to Take the High Road”, etc. Our conversations are ALWAYS meaningful and intentional, and build great bonds.
Friday 9/2 @ 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM – SOUL Creations Resin/Epoxy class w/dinner at SOUL Creations warehouse in Mooresville, NC. SOUL creations is a non-profit who’s proceeds benefit Growth Co. and AMPED (a local children’s development program), and our partners in Uganda. They would like for us to participate in a test class, and make products to sell to help support Growth Co.
Thursday 9/22 @ 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM – Music Bingo at Hoptown Brewing Co. in Mooresville, NC. Come hang out with us and enjoy a drink while we play music bingo at a local brewery!
Sunday 9/25 @ 12:30 PM – Assist AMPED (Local Children’s Development Program) at Zootastic in Troutman, NC.