Mark, who is in high school, treasures the church because of “its culture of openness and tolerance and because my family can be accepted.” Mark’s two mothers were married two years ago by the Rev. Hannah Brown, and his mother Sharon has served as a deacon.
Sharon values WCUC for its small size and concern for social justice. She traveled with other members to New Orleans in 2007 to do hurricane relief and recalls, “There was one moment of sheer joy when we were working on a rooftop and we burst out singing. It could have been so discouraging to look out at a sea of blue tarps and damaged homes. But instead, to be part of a group of people doing something to make it better, there was so much hope. It was one time when I felt this is absolutely where I was meant to be.”
Sharon also finds WCUC to be a place where “we can share the raw and messy edges of life. That’s what life is, and you can share that and not be judged.” She finds the time in worship when people offer up their own personal joys and concerns to be deeply moving.
Sharon’s wife, Ellen, had a difficult time with church when she was growing up, so she says she is always surprised by the warm welcome she receives when she comes to church with Mark and Sharon. “This church is wonderful. I’m glad Mark is having a completely different experience than I had growing up in the church.”