The short of it is I felt rejected and judged by the church.
I was very active in my church community, I was aware that we did not all share the same views about many things in life but I was naïve in believing that I could be myself and be accepted.
After a council meeting one night a fellow council member came up to me and said "Wow, that was brave" I didn't understand what he meant at the time but I soon found out. We were talking about how to bring more people into the church. I pointed out we have a group that comes into the church 2 to 3 times a week , AA and NA. If we wanted to make them feel more welcome to participate in our service we could offer a non-alcoholic alternative in communion. Also we have LGBTQIA members, why don't we publicly advocate inclusion.
I learned that they may tolerate people who are different but they did not accept them. I found myself excluded... I stayed believing I could be part of a positive change in the church.
Crying the whole way home from church after one too many obvious incidents I knew I was done. I am not going back.
This became the catalyst to a deep and rewarding relationship with my Creator. I started practicing praying and meditation with journaling. Which expanded into creating art. This is what I want to share with you on my blog. Join me for weekly explorations on growing and living into the love and peace that we are designed to be.
This Photograph is a unique image that I came up with after asking God where do you want me to worship and the answer I received was," You are in my sanctuary."
It has been over a year and I was starting to miss being involved with a community. A good friend of mine who knows me well had suggested a group that gathers in unique settings (not a church building). It is designed for people who were feeling disenfranchised with the church and yet wanted to be spiritually fed. Communities of Hope, they called themselves Coffee Shop Church because they were gathering in a coffee shop after hours! I wasn't sure what to expect. They started with a beautiful welcoming and then offered an apology. I didn't even know I needed an apology but when I heard it I was moved so deeply I couldn't hold back the tears. This was a new beginning, a new way to be church!
Within a year I was gathering with friends and friends of friends in my hair salon, Salon Church!! That was in 2017! If you want to join us sign up and I will keep you updated on our next gathering. We will be gathering in outdoor locations as the weather gets better.