“Jesus gathers and heals because he is one with himself, one with God,
and even one with the pain of the person who cannot speak.”
~ Richard Rohr, Wondrous Encounters: Scriptures for Lent
During the Epiphany sermon series on “Holy Disunity: What Separates Us Can Save Us”, Dr. Haley Feuerbacher spoke on “Queering of Christianity”, as she vulnerably shared her struggle and courageously witness for the LGBTQ+ people. I was deeply moved and inspired by her message. I realized through her moving prophetic voice, how much it means for the queer people to have a faith community where they can show up being who they are feeling safe, affirmed, and supported.
Haley sent me this email about her experience of our faith community a day after she preached here. I have her permission to share with you.
My friend John,
I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for yesterday. You performed a masterclass on allyship and accomplice-ship for me, and I felt so safe, held, cared for, received, celebrated, affirmed, and able to be brave and authentic. I don’t know that I’ve felt that level of love, support, and real queer-affirming allyship in a church yet, and it has shifted and in-spirited me in so very many ways! I’m still vibrating from the experience, and I’m pretty sure I always will. A core memory was created! And you have facilitated a community that co-created Sunday morning’s magic and sacredness – between your leadership, the embodiment and breathwork, the children, Eden’s incredible music, Marina and the songs she led, the testimonies and prayer requests and stories of the people in attendance, the “crowd participation” during the service – this was what created the power and presence of God in palpable ways! April was crying and laughing, and she and I were lit up from the inside out! She too expressed that she had never been to a church like this, and she loved it! Both she and my partner and sister, who were both watching online, also said, “I love Pastor John!” As do I!
Thank you so very very much. Someday I’ll have more and better and fuller words to express what this meant, what this transformed for me and us, and how you have made such a difference, but for now, please just know how very grateful I and the people I love most in my life are.
I look forward to continuing to conspire with you, my accomplice, mentor, and friend in Christ!
I am proud to be part of the church as a “Reconciling Congregation” that continues to faithfully witness the gospel of Jesus Christ.
“Spiritual homesickness has been a constant in my life. It was not an everyday experience, but a predictable and always reoccurring desperation to find a sense of sacredness within me.”
~ Brené Brown, Forward to Falling Upward by Richard Rohr