There are few key concepts that are essential to Calix and our approach to mission. Below is a list of these concepts with a brief description. Each of these concepts will be getting it's own podcast soon and will have larger articles or blogs written about them.
+ craft Artisan craft is the primary way that we communicate the dignity of those we serve and our primary expression of the beautiful. The caring and skill demonstrated in an attention to detail and the effort to make something objectively good go a long way in earning the respect that will over time allow relationship and dialogue to develop.
+ humility Sometimes it is hard to separate a careful attention to detail and the effort to make artisan beauty from the a simply snobby attitude. The former brings people in communicates dignity. The latter alienates them and pushes them away. For a person working hard in artisan craft, this can be difficult, as we are all too human and when someone does not understand or appreciate our work, it is easy to dismiss them. We must constantly remind ourselves that we don't have to do everything for everyone, but we must love everyone and treat them with dignity, allowing our knowledge and work to be a bridge and not a wall.
+ hospitality when you combine the first two and get arstisan craft in humility for the sake of persons and relationship, you get true hospitality. In a sense, it is where they experience justice directed to them in the context of your community, because craft and humility are the first way you are able to embody love to your guests and as John Paul the Great taught us, love is the only proper stance toward other persons.
+ design another way we respect persons and show them love is making a beautiful space ergonomic to the human person and the activities they come to take part in. A space can be decorated simply, but must be beautiful and help people do what they came to do, that is experience artisan beauty in the form of food and beverages, have conversation, read, and write. Anything that is ugly, banal, or distracting from the end, regardless of it's religious content, is not Christian in this context.
+ justice another aspect of our communicating the dignitiy of the human person and our love for them is in our sourcing and in our labor practices. You can not have a Christian project and then buy cheap product that is built on the back of the poor, is harmful to the environment, or is unhealthy for the people you are serving. Direct Trade and transparent coffee sourcing is a must in these projects. Also, providing a decent wage for those working for pay and a safe, dignified, and beautiful work environment for all workers, even your volunteers, is essential and deeply communicative and attractive to those you serve.
+ relationship Human relationship is not the final end of these projects. Enabling persons to come into relationship with the Living God is. But, the primary and most proximate means of that is a daily cultivation of relationship with those you serve and that relationship developing into a conduit for the love of God to flow through. All these pillars are for the sake of relationship. This marks a difference in our projects. The end is not profit, or even excellence or beauty for it's own sake. The end is relationship as a means to communication of the Divine.