When we looked for a church, I wanted a church with a commitment to Bible studies. I found one church within a reasonable driving distance. They offered several Bible studies—Jeremiah and Job caught my eye. One difficulty: the church didn’t want us. I asked someone in the office if the church was welcoming to all folks.
“Of course, ” she said.
” That includes, ” I said, ” a lesbian couple.”
” I’ll have the pastor speak to you.”
I received a pleasant email from the assistant pastor who explained that a number of congregants would be uncomfortable. He told me that he’d pray for us to find the right church. Of course, he added, we wouldn’t ask you to leave—but you wouldn’t feel comfortable.
I wrote him back and thanked him for the email and for his prayers. I, too, would pray for the right church and for the doors of his church to truly be open— for everyone.
We hoped to find a church home where other gay and lesbian folks broke bread, shared communion, and talked about their faith walk. The churches we found that fit that description left Jesus at the door.
We returned to West Concord Union Church where we once attended an evening Bible study and Sunday services.
What did we find? People not only remembered us, but also went out of their way to welcome us as individuals and as a couple.
After a chance meeting with Priscilla at L.L. Bean we joined the Wednesday morning Bible study. What, I thought, did I have in common with this group? I learned that Edna’s peregrinations included all the continents save for Australia. She probably wondered what she had in common with me— the intrepid armchair traveler.
We did share tales of the Bronx—and of our accents.
Every woman in that group carried an inner spirituality and love of God—each path a bit different, but a palpable faith.
Within the past two years two of the women passed away.
A Wednesday morning group still meets. The studies vary with church members taking on more of the facilitating.
I joined an imperfect church filled with people who try to live the gospel, who celebrate diversity, who welcome Christ into their church and into their lives.
The Holy Spirit finds the pews comfortable.