I have an idea, but I’m not sure how to go about making it happen. Off and on for the past 3 years or so, I’ve been vaguely interested in starting a small church or at least a worship group. The idea has come to the forefront of my mind again because of what has recently been going on around Gordon College (my school). I’m a senior at Gordon, and for the most part, I have enjoyed my experience there. I tend to be more liberal than many of the other students and faculty, but it has never caused any animosity, and everyone up until this point has been understanding.
Recently, however, the president of the school, along with prominent leaders of other Christian organizations, signed a petition asking President Obama to exempt them from an anti-discrimination law so that they could lawfully exclude LGBT peeps from their hiring process. Understandably, there has been a lot of backlash from alumni and current students, though admittedly, I don’t know much about the reactions of many faculty members. They seem to be staying quiet on the issue.
I read a blog post yesterday or the day before from an alumni who graduated in the early 80’s. She mentioned that many alums have decided to return their diplomas in protest of the president’s actions. She decided not to do so, and instead, wrote about how alums and current students should work toward change with positive action rather than simply making a statement of discontentment. She didn’t exactly say how this should be done, but she did talk about how alums in particular can control what their donations to the school go to specifically.
Her article gave me an idea. She talked about how the church she currently attended was very accepting of former criminals and addicts, but when she came out as a lesbian, they stopped allowing her to take leadership roles in the church, and ultimately kicked her out. Reading this made me want to right the wrong. I initially wanted to start a whole new church that would be completely open to members of the LGBT community, ex convicts, etc, but after some thinking, this seemed to be too big a task for me. I’ve decided that I do want to start a small worship/study group, but I don’t know where, and I don’t know how. I don’t currently have anyone to start it with, and I’m not sure exactly how to inform people that I’m doing this. I’m also not sure that my parents or my Christian friends would approve. I know I shouldn’t care, but I might need their help later.
Two of my biggest problems are that I don’t know exactly what the format of our meetings would be, and since I want to be inviting to everyone, I was thinking we might explore worship through different religions, but I don’t feel comfortable doing that. I know that if I had friends who were spiritual in different ways than myself and they asked me to worship with them I would, so I don’t know why this would make me feel uncomfortable.
I’ve started doing a bit of research, and I might get in touch with the local Unitarian Universalist church to see if anyone is interested, and the local library to see if we could use their building once a week for our meetings. Honestly, though; what I’m most worried about with this plan is that I won’t have the ambition or the resources to make it happen–which ever happens first. That’s actually something I’ve been fighting with (again): lack of ambition. I know it’s partly just because I’ve been on vacation since June and I’m just getting bored, but it’s starting to get on my nerves. I need school to start up again.
Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!