the RAVEN FOUNDATION
Welcome to the Raven Foundation

No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here. We invite you to come with your faith and your doubts, your anxieties and your hopes, and know that through it all you are loved. Because though it’s hard to know where your questions are leading you, the wonder of it all is that not knowing can open up tremendous possibilities.

Some have the idea that you need to have it all together before God can love you. But that’s not true. In fact, the Bible shows that God loves and works through people who have really messy lives.

There’s a great story about this in the book of Genesis. There was a guy named Abram who left his homeland because he sensed there was something wrong about their religion. He had doubts about his cultural religious traditions. The people were fighting about religion all the time. (I know! Can you imagine people fighting about religion? So weird…)

So Abram left in search of something more. After wandering around the middle east with his doubts and questions, he encountered a totally different God. This God didn’t want Abram to fight others. Instead, this God called Abraham and his descendants to be all the nations.

Abraham received this message, but he also had a pretty messy life. The Bible shows him for the flawed, less-than-saintly guy he really was. He often misunderstood God’s call and made terrible mistakes. There’s even this creepy story about how he let Pharaoh have his way with his wife Sarai so he wouldn’t lust after Abraham’s livestock. What a jerk! But hey, no one’s perfect and lucky for us, God doesn’t need perfect. He just needs us to dare to follow our doubts and to do our best on the journey.

Here are the values that guide us on the road. We hope you’ll take the journey with us because one person following their doubts is a good place to start. But isn’t it more fun to travel with friends?

Why Mimetic Theory

Mimetic theory is the biggest idea to hit the social sciences in the last sixty years, and because you care about making the world a better place – especially for the poor, marginalized, and scapegoated – you need to have mimetic theory in your justice seeking toolbox!

If you’d like a systematic approach, you will enjoy our “Intro To Mimetic Theory”. It’s a series of seven articles that walk you through the big ideas and how they shift our thinking around relationships, religion and the things that make for peace within us and between us.

Our Values

Pause

The journey to peace begins with stepping back from the cycle of conflict. In the pause we find the grace to understand and embrace our inner landscape. When we have the space to take a breath, we can see the way desire and imitation lead us into conflict but also hold the key to making peace more possible in our lives and in our world.

Own It

We own our role in creating or sustaining unhealthy systems. This is not about letting shame paralyze us; it’s about exercising hope and seeing the possibility for personal and communal healing. When we hold ourselves accountable to our past actions, we can find better models and institute a better future.

Forgive and Restore

After seeing the rifts in our hearts, families, and communities, and seeing the role we play, we are able to restore wholeness through vulnerability. Forgiving ourselves restores our sense of identity. Forgiving others heals strained relationships. As we practice this process, we are more able to spot and resolve conflict.

Practice Authentic Hospitality

Our community is a place where people can be totally themselves: with their doubts, fears, eccentricities, and ideas. Our differences, instead of creating rivalry, unfold into exciting conversations and dynamic diversity. We respect one another and honor everyone’s place along the journey. We work for deep inclusion, breaking the scapegoating cycle by uplifting each individual’s unique dignity.

Speak into Real Life

To us, René Girard’s mimetic theory is more than a thought experiment; it’s a relevant and engaging way to live. We bring this philosophy into real life by highlighting its intersection with the areas our community cares about. From religion and politics to relationships and parenting, we reveal the mechanisms underneath our daily lives and draw from our own experiences to authentically apply these ideas.

Initiate Peace

Ultimately, we believe that this process of internal and communal transformation can and will transform the world. We empower our community to undo the cycle of violence, first within their own hearts and relationships, and then in society as a whole. We will work tirelessly to calm fears, quiet the frenzy of conflict, and allow peace to define our world.