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DSC_3035-copy-800x530-576x381It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad. (C. S. Lewis)

Hatch*, like TED, is about ideas worth spreading. It is about asking the big questions, it is about finding the answers. Hatch* is about growth and learning and seeking. Hatch* is about shrugging off the shell of what’s holding us back and using our wings. It was birthed from a love of learning, and from a desire to love, even those who have a different colored shell than us.

Although we may not agree with each other on every topic, we’re interested in more than agreement – we’re interested in perspectives.

When I started this journey, I wanted, simply, to connect with God and other people. What I discovered was that I most love hearing the stories. The stories are what ignite passion, move to tears. As I hear more stories, I see more lives: connected to each other, part of something bigger. I see tribes.

A few months ago, I stood barefoot in the Red River. Feeling the (ice cold!) water rush over my feet, around my legs; feeling the river’s strength, I felt connected to something bigger than me, bigger than all of us. I was considering my next steps in a journey that had led me far from my spiritual home, I was feeling a bit lost, and I was thinking about God.

For the past 3 years, I had been writing about religion. I had lived the 6 major religions practiced in the United States; I had visited houses of worship and prayed alongside Muslim sisters in living rooms. I had shared Sabbath at the table of Jews, and had filled open Mormon Missionary hands with apples from my tree and love from my heart. Although my journey was wonderful (you can read about it here: http://www.jonikmartin.blogspot.com), it was time for a change. I was ready for traveling companions for a stretch.

In the Red River that day, amidst my shivers and slips on mossy rocks, I found part of God. In the faces of the children swimming, splashing, climbing trees and sitting in sand, I found part of God. More and more, I’m finding God in the most unlikely places… outside places of worship: in nature, in love, in relationship and in community.

Hatch* is about sharing our collective stories and questions, and learning from each other. We hope you’ll join us and share your story with us, too. Your story needs to be heard. We must be hatched or go bad.

I asked my brother, a conservative Christian along on this journey. I also asked some friends of varied religious flavors: one who lives on a commune in Illinois, one who is a mother of 6, one who worships a God called Allah…others who can lend insight, yes, but mostly others who have questions like me. It is my hope that through our journey, our readers will identify and create with us. It is our hope that we will together spread our wings and fly!

-Joni

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