If worship is providing ways to access God, then its important to think outside the box, the church box, and even the reading/neurotypical box. Where can we allow creative access to God? Where can we open the door to the work of the Holy Spirit? Where can we learn from other individuals’ spirituality?
I grew up in the Evangelical church and suppressed my being gay until my early thirties, when I had a very spiritual and cathartic moment that would change the course of my life forever. I was thirty-two when I came out as gay and Christian, fully affirming myself and LGBTQ+ inclusion in the church.
Farm workers have long lived at the bottom of our socio-economic scale. Even today, their pay is abysmal. Farm workers are usually paid by piecework, meaning they work as fast as they can to make as much money as possible.
Last week I accompanied my high school daughter to Tijuana. Abigail, a volunteer teacher with Little Brushstrokes, a program for refugee children, wanted to bring art to the migrant caravan children. Our day was different than we could have imagined.
I am grateful to listen to people tell their stories, which can be messy, disorganized, or in transition. They can be filled with pain, tragedy, longing, and loss. How we tell our stories and own our stories matters. How we are allowed to have our stories matters.
Sometimes demographics just don’t fit denominational goals. Sometimes the local way of life works against the imposed model of church. Sometimes the flaws in the context undermine engagement.
We connected via email to begin a conversation where I was the student and she was the teacher. I told her I wanted to learn from her “un-churched” experience.
The first image that comes to mind when hearing “the Pacific Coast” is one of Beach-Boy-sunny-shores, surfers, bikini-clad sunbathers, and children building sand castles. But there is so much more.
An artist in Tennessee named Cheryl Prose makes art pieces corresponding to #MeToo stories that move her. She began with stories of friends, and came across my story in Sojourners. Since then she read my memoir, and this piece is based on the memoir.
My assailant was someone I had been in a relationship with which is why I never reported it. Who would have believed me? I wasn’t sure I believed it myself.