Congratulations, Tim and Jack, on your visit to the Baptist church. I hope both of you find the loving and welcoming community you're seeking. As for me, I attended my second service at Denver's Metropolitan Community Church of the Rockies on Sunday. The service was again delightful, but the message the pastor gave was wonderful. He talked about the events of ten years ago but rather than talk about patriotism he talked about the need for love and forgiveness. All of us appreciated what he had to say as it spoke directly to the somber and solemn mood much of the country was in on Sunday.
I'm meeting other people and while I haven't started any friendships--this was only my second time there after all--I am feeling more comfortable. The church has a custom of having different members host welcoming dinners for new ones. This happens once a month. I won't be able to attend September's love feast, but I plan to go next month. Can you imagine anything like that taking place in a congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses? And can you imagine any congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses the majority of whom are gay as they are at MCCR? We all know the answers to those questions.
I am already appreciating the freedom of speech and thought that I am enjoying at this church. This is a Christian church, so the emphasis is on the life, work, and ministry of Jesus Christ, but nobody is compelled to believe a rigid set of doctrines and teachings. The Bible is referenced and read and members are free to share their understanding of Scripture with one another, the idea being to use the Bible to guide, comfort, and help one another. But nobody is going to be expelled for holding a point of view different from that of a fellow believer. I'm looking forward to worship next Sunday and on the following Sunday, 25 September, the church will celebrate its ninth anniversary with a picnic. That's something else you rarely see nowadays in a congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses: a large social gathering of people where fun and frolic as well as good food is shared.
I never thought I would be a church-goer after abandoning the WTS, but in my case I have come to realize that I need to be part of a faith-community. That is because I need to be in a place not just to receive good things from others, but to contribute them as well. I wasn't allowed to contribute what abilities I had whilst one of Jehovah's Witnesses because I was judged to be too much of a free-thinker and was said to be "uncooperative". But I have already been told at MCCR that any way I want to contribute to the good of the community will be welcomed with no strings attached. What a difference! And how opposite from the unloving, guilt-ridden and coercive ways I experienced in the WTS.