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What is Grounded?

Credo in Unum Deum…

First and foremost, Grounded is the bi-vocational ministry of husband-wife team, Tom Muir and Stephanie Gagnon. We are pastoral in the broadest sense. We provide exceptional grounds care and gardening through our sister brands, WORK Yard Care and Lake City Landscaping. Tom and Stephanie will also begin Northern Ontario’s first and only grief-focused ministry in the coming years.

The ministry will walk alongside Christians who face a significant loss or life transition. It will partner with their church communities. It will draw from ancient strategies for mourning and despondency, teach spiritual disciplines on the path to healing and, most importantly, impart the gift of contentment from a life built on Christ even in the face of immense suffering (Phil 4:7-9).

Grounded is also a working theology. We cut grass and plant gardens and trim trees, and, in the act of working, we embrace the bigger story that all Christians are a part of. We know the work is “a prophetic act, a gateway to a spiritual kingdom which is being foreshadowed here on earth”.1

As someone who became a fisher of people, the Apostle Peter understood this relationship between his vocation and a larger story. Using the metaphor of putting up a large building, he compares believers in Jesus Christ to stones used in construction. Peter calls us to be the living, breathing building blocks of Christ’s church, which is not a physical building but a spiritual one. He writes: “Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight, and like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood…You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (1 Pet. 2:4-5;9). We are to be the living stones, and Christ is the cornerstone.

These beliefs are transcendent, and the spirit of our age is ferociously immanent. We, therefore, follow several practices to help our faith grow2:

We value our past: Our beliefs are pre-denominational and are based on the ancient ecumenical consensuses of Christian belief, such as the Nicene Creed.

We mark the Christian year: Celebrating the major events in Christ’s life and ministry as laid out in the Book of Common Prayer* means that we can be in closer communion with Christ. It also reminds us that God’s saving acts and deeds far outweigh our own.

We tell God’s whole story: By keeping a particular focus on the entire story of God — creation, fall, incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection, ascension and Pentecost — we recognize that we are predominantly called to live in his story rather than he in ours. And we recognize in contemporary worship, some things have fallen by the wayside. We believe in lament as well as praise. And we believe in God’s work of creation as well as redemption.

We celebrate Christ’s victory: We embody the joy and peace at the root of Christianity by emphasizing the classical Christian theology of Christus Victor, that in his resurrection, Christ redeemed the whole of creation.

We practice Christ’s disciplines: By following Jesus’ earthly manners of “solitude and silence, prayer, simple and sacrificial living, meditation upon God’s word and ways, and service to others”, we grow towards his way of living.3

At Grounded, we reach for Christ’s new kingdom on earth, whether gardening or pastoring those who have just come through a significant loss. We are honoured to be imperfectly modelling and ministering his victorious and healing vision for the earth and humanity.

* “Advent (waiting for the Messiah), Christmas (the Messiah has come), Epiphany (the Messiah is manifested to be for the whole world), Lent (preparing for the death of Jesus), Holy Week (reenacting the final week and saving events), Easter (celebrating the resurrection), Ascension (Jesus ascends in glory to intercede for us at the right hand of the Father), and Pentecost (the coming of the Holy Spirit in a new way)”4

Works Cited

  1. Morgan, Alison. Following Jesus: The Plural of Disciple is Church. ReSource, 2015
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  2. https://www.epiclesis.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/What_Makes_Us_Ancient_Future.pdf
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  3. https://dwillard.org/books/spirit-of-the-disciplines ↩︎
  4. Webber, Robert E. Ancient-Future Worship: Proclaiming and Enacting God’s Narrative. Baker Books, 2008. ↩︎