Thursday, April 27, 2006

Gonna be famous!

I wrote an article for our local newspaper and I just received word that they are going to publish it! I have to make arrangements for them to come and take pictures at the church and when it comes out, I will link it! Here is what I wrote.....

What I believe.....

I believe that being a lesbian doesn't preclude me from God's love. This one simple sentence, took me years to understand and believe. Growing up, the message that I always heard the few times I ever went to church is that there was no room for someone like me in any church. God does not love sinners and lesbians such as myself were of the highest order of sinners. I spent a lot of my adulthood shying away from organized religion. When my oldest daughter was born I made an effort to attend one of the Unitarian church's in the area, but for me, something always felt lacking. I felt comfortable with the church school program, but the church itself just didn't speak to me the way that I felt I needed to be spoken to. I needed more religion and less social justice. Don't get me wrong, I think that there is a big place for social justice in religion, it's just that I missed singing hymns and praying to God. I missed the cross hanging over the chancel and the celebration of the religious holidays. I missed singing Praise God In the Highest.

Fast forward to 2005. I had met my partner and we married (in the eyes of the unitarian church) and had added another child to our family. Our oldest child had no formal religious basis and I really felt that something spiritual was lacking once again in my life and my family. We had attended some holiday services at my mother in law's home church and incidentally the church that my partner had been raised in, and while no one ever came out and told us that we weren't welcome there, I never felt invited, more like tolerated. My mother in law had started to attend The United Church of Fayetteville as some of her friends were members there. Having attended a musical program there back in 2002, I knew from reading their literature, that they were a welcoming church as specifically stated they welcomed everyone...including lesbian's like me! I knew from the first time that I attended services there, this was the place for me. Their inclusion statement was not just something written on paper, but it was something that was practiced personally to me the first time I ever walked in the door. It felt as though I had come home. I felt for the first time, that God did love me and that I could have a close and special relationshio with Him. I am learning to read the bible and I am learning what it means to be a Christian. I am developing a new identity, one that I feel has been underneath all the time and just wating to burst out! Our daughter's attend church school and are learning the stories of the bible. My oldest child who is 13 is in her Seeker's Class and learning not only about being a Presbytarian and a Baptist, but learning about all the other faith's of the world. When she is ready to decide which spiritual path she will follow, it will be based in learning and in searching her own heart. UCF has taken our family into their fold and holds us close. The interm pastor, Kathleen Waters, patiently answers my questions (and I have a lot of them) and has helped me to explore my burgeoning relationship with God.

I no longer question, Does God love me? I know that he does. God doesn't pick and choose who he loves. He doesn't put limits on his love. He loves everyone for who they are...even lesbian's like me.

7 comments:

Michelle said...

Wendy--what a GREAT article...I felt very touched by your search and desire for a new spiritual awareness...we've chatted about this sort of stuff in the past, and I'm still not at the place where I can find a place to call home...I wish you all the best in your endeavors into becoming the new you....M

Gandksmom said...

Thanks for the comment Michelle. I have to say that I am very happy right now spiritually. Well, in fact in all area's of my life! I will send the link once the paper publishes the article.

Kerry said...

Ah Wendy I can relate so well! Great article!Before I knew the real me I went to Baptist and Presbyterian churches as an adult and was raised as a Catholic.After I discovered I was a lesbian I quit going to church because I felt like I was sitting with a bunch of hypocrites. I have found a good place online http://www.whosoever.org/ which is a online GBLT christian magazine. I am still searching and quetioning too.

mommabrown13 said...

Honey, What a great article. As your mother, it gives me peace of mind that you are so happy with your self. You just need to give yourself permission to rerlax and enjoy your life.

Sonya said...

How awesome Wendy!

I'm so glad that you have sought and found a Church home that speaks to you. I am so glad that they are welcoming your family with open arms and that they are able to give to you as you are able to give to them.

These awesome places of worship exist and I am glad you have found your home.

Dharma said...

Wendy, I have been enjoying you writing about your faith journey.

Vince said...

I linked to this blog from your email. I assume this is the article you told me about. Great! I look forward to reading it again in the newspaper. See ya soon.