Well, that was tripped out. In a good way.
Today I visited First Congregational Church of Winter Park (FCCWP). They are an open and affirming congregation. I wanted to go to a church where being gay wasn’t the top priority but where being gay was accepted/affirmed on equal footing as everything and everybody else.
I’ve never belonged to a church with liberal theology, or sang out of hymnals the entire worship time, or sat in literal pews. I have never gone to one that is liturgical, baptized infants and sang in Hebrew over the communion elements …and this church had all of that.
AND the communion bread was gluten-free 🙂
A lovely man and his husband, they have been together for 24 years, were very hospitable to me. They are friends of a friend who recommended I visit this church. I sat with them and met a few other very nice people.
Also, and I am not kidding, I had been randomly thinking about a Scripture (Mark 7:24-37) this morning. I thought, “I probably won’t ever hear a sermon on that passage in a church like this.” In response, of course, it’s like Jesus said, “Oh really?” and that was the exact scripture Rev. Shawn Garvey preached on this morning. I am NOT kidding, and his take on it blew my mind. Loved it, even though it is very challenging to consider Jesus might have been “snarky” in that passage :). When he started preaching on that story, I nearly laughed out loud. That scripture popping into my head wasn’t a random thought, it was Jesus setting me up! I can’t help but think it was His way of affirming to me that His Spirit is with me and in that church.
It was quite humbling to go to a liberal/progressive church considering my biases against them in the past. To consider that now they would be the places I would look for safety in is ironic. The depth of that irony is not lost on me. Humbling, indeed.
My new friends took me to lunch where I met another grandfatherly man. He is gay as well, and it was so nice to be around normal people who love Jesus, each other, and our community(ies). Where I could share my story and listen to theirs, it was peaceful, mutual, and non-judgmental.
One friend said that FCCWP was a breath of fresh air. I agree.
[callout]For a variety of reasons, I have turned off the comments section on my blog. I *love* discussion, but I have found that those discussions work best on social networks. So please join me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I would enjoy connecting with you there.[/callout]