My son loves his church...
My son loves his church……. Julian and I came to St. Marks for the first time just after Easter a few years ago.
In February of that year we had been invited to the Baptism of a friend of his. I don’t want to pass judgement on this particular church but it’s philosophy didn’t quite ‘jive’ with what I felt in my heart with regard to faith. You see, in my line of work, I work with people of many different backgrounds from all over the country. Some of the gay men that I worked with had grown up within that particular church and it had caused them a great deal of pain and rejection. As a parent I felt deeply that this was wrong. And it wasn’t the sort of church that I wanted to be a part of. So it upset me that my son had been intrigued by that church with its welcoming faces.
My faith has been an important but personal part of me for a long time. Now that Julian had shown some interest, I was happy to have an opportunity to share that with him. But it was important to me to show him that there was another way. But... how would I find a church that did ‘jive’ with my own personal philosophy. I knew that I wanted an Episcopal church but Episcopal churches do seem to be somewhat varied in their views. So how would I find the right one? Well, I found a website, Gaychurch.org. I must’ve put my search in 20 times and each time I kinda noticed St. Marks more than the others. This all happened over lent. When Easter came and went I felt a real sense of regret that we had not participated in Easter services. So despite being nervous about making the jump I decided to go for it.
I honestly did not expect to settle on the first church we went to. But if I’m being totally honest St. Marks was the first church we went to. What I expected to happen was that we’d go to a few churches, not be able to find one and give up. But the first morning that we came we were made to feel welcome but still given our space. Buck gave the sermon that morning and I was surprised and charmed by the raw honesty and humor of his sermon. I thought “this might be the church for us”. The next week I asked Julian if he’d like to go again and much to my surprise he said yes and he hadn’t even been to children’s worship yet! That week Father David gave the sermon and it was filled with so much warmth and heart that I thought “Yes, I think this is the church for us.”
Since then it has been a wonderful journey. Julian eventually felt comfortable enough to go down to children’s worship and Malinda made him feel welcomed and a part of it right away. St. Marks has become a big part of our life. We love the federal style building, the beautiful music of the organist and choir and the meaningfulness of the rituals. But it’s the people that have made it a familiar place where we feel comfortable. St. Marks has also given us opportunities to serve the community as well as the church. And I have been able to teach my son that serving is a reward in itself. Sometimes being a parent in today’s world can feel scary. Coming to St. Marks is a way for us to center ourselves for the week ahead and to steel ourselves against the slings and arrows that may come our way. It is a reminder in a sometimes angry world that there are good compassionate people. I want my son and myself to live a life of grace and I feel that the people here lead by example. It has often been mentioned to me that we drive pretty far to go to church and each time I reply “Yeah, but it’s worth it”.