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  • Storied Church

My journey of faith began my sophomore year of high school. This was in the late 90s when AOL was booming. All my peers communicated through instant messaging. And one of my friends that I instant messaged with was Mark. Mark went to the Baptist church and started encouraging me to read the bible. So I did. He was my friend. So I took his advice.


My reading of scripture has formed and shaped me greatly. I loved then and I love now reading the bible. What has formed me greatly is the generosity of Jesus' love for people. When someone tried to limit God's love... Jesus would always extend it and push the limits. Jesus' love kept going further and further.


This kingdom that Jesus was trying to build was diverse, beautiful, and full. Although this kingdom did perplex and challenge others especially those closest to him.


History has shown us many moments for which we have in God's name sought often to stifle this movement of God. Slave owners used the bible to justify their racist, horrific abuses on other human beings. The bible has been used to limit women's role in the church in ordination and service as well as in society. And now we continue to use the scriptures, not as a source that leads us to peace but to put down the integral, baptismal identity in us all. Especially people of the LGBTQAI+ community.


We believe "every story deserves to be told". One of the truest parts of ourselves is our sexuality and how we relate to other human beings. And for the church to say that you can't be who God created you to be is a falsehood. It is to be baptized into a lie


We feel that only then when we can be your most authentic self is when we can become a storied community. A community that understands this great mystery that where our true selves are embraced together something miraculous and special happens.


We can't wait to worship and to stand up and tell you that we love, affirm and stand with you.

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  • Storied Church

Fame is an illusion. The idea that a famous persons' story is better and more interesting than the person we pass by in the grocery store is a falsehood. A falsehood we created.


We now exist in a time when everyone is trying really hard to pretend. Authenticity and realness are seen as a weakness. We hide our stories and make up fiction in hopes that the world will accept us.


This is what social media does to many of us. We look and see everyone's life. We see their story play out. And it looks perfect. Everything in their story seems to be aligned and working in their favor. All the while we look at our own lives and ask ourselves what is wrong with us? Why isn't our story like their story?


Quite possibly it is because that other person is writing a fiction novel about their life. They are hiding the rawness of their story. They are pretending.


For most Christian churches here are how things play out. You go to church. The church tells you you are a sinner and for you to confess your sins. Then once you do that then you will be a vital member of the community.


In our curiosity we ask what if the person God created you to be is already there and should be celebrated not changed. Maybe what is missing from our story is your story... the real one.


At the center of quest together is to discover the story that God tells about each of us. We are uniquely different and that is God's design. And the beauty of our communion is how we are better for it when we are our most authentic, unique self.

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  • Storied Church

Ever since I was a teenager Mark chapter 1 has deeply shaped my experience of Jesus. Here is this man with leprosy who has lost everything. He has lost his family, friends, and religious community. And most of all he could not be touched, nor embraced, comforted for fear that his disease would spread. He also carried around shame that it was something he did to cause his pain. In his destitute loneliness he had to wallow in his shame to stay alive. Day after day people looked past him and ignored him.


His story was ignored over and over again.


Each day he felt his shame as he fell to his knees to beg so that he could at least survive another day.


Then one day a Jewish rabbi named Jesus comes towards his direction. He doesn't look past this man with leprosy nor does he walk by. But instead reaches out his hand and touches him. In my mind this was the first healing of the leper. Jesus was restoring his dignity. He was recognizing that this man was someone who was worthy of human touch. Jesus dignified him. He saw him. His story mattered.


This story is a catalyst for the type of community we feel that God is calling us to create. The church has become in many ways a place where stories are not told but repressed for fear of judgement, condemnation, and gossip.


As a pastor I have had people tell me things about their lives that they would never tell someone else for fear that they would be just like this leper. They hid their story from the church and pretended to be someone else.


Yet the Jesus we are introduced to in Mark 1 is not one that walks by those hurting in our world. He is much more radical. Jesus sees. He hears. He touches that which the world chooses not to.


We want to embrace the beautiful gift and story that we all are. We want to be that hand that reaches out and dignifies that which the world fails to see as a beautiful mosaic of grace.

We know that it won't be an easy journey and we pray and hope that our church will be a trusting place where people can tell their stories and sense the radical love of Jesus Christ.


In out other words... your story matters.

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