by Judd Ingram
I became a member of MCC San Jose after a long life as a member of the Catholic Church. As a longtime Catholic, and one who also worked for Catholic Social Services, I became uncomfortable with the lack of progress in the relationship between the Church and the GLBTQ community. For a period of time I did not attend any church, but then my wife suggested that we attend a service at MCC. After attending MCCSJ for an Easter service, I found that it was where I wished to continue my personal spiritual practices.
I previously had been exposed to Reiki by my wife who had been trained in it. At first I thought that it was just another activity to use up time, and of little value.
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Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
– Attributed to St. Francis of Assisi
The other night, I watched a film called “Brother Sun, Sister Moon.” It’s Franco Zeffirelli’s beautiful story of St. Francis and St. Clare, filmed on location in Italy. The movie shows both of the protagonists leaving their lives of privilege to help the poor and, ultimately, establish new mendicant (begging) orders of monks and nuns.
This film spoke to me on many levels. The sweeping beauty of the Italian landscape was a delight to my eyes. The film’s original score, by Scottish folk musician Donovan, was a treat to my ears. There was one constant theme that I’ve been thinking about ever since I watched the movie: how kind Francis and Clare were to the outcasts.
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I was recently reading Rev. Denis Moore’s article about how we should embrace our sexuality and accept it as the essence of who we are, and I thought about how blessed I feel to have found MCCSJ. I also thought about how grateful I am to God, Our Supreme Source, for filling my heart with joy, hope, and faith.
Now I know, with no doubt, that I’m His creation too, that He knows me, and that He was in love with me even before I came to exist in this world. Read more »
I believe that God is bigger and more wonderful than human beings can fully comprehend. When we talk about God, we use images and metaphors to express our understandings of God, although these images really only describe a tiny fraction of all that God is. But while Christian tradition and scripture have a wide range of images and metaphors that are used to describe God, we seldom hear God referred to as “God our Mother.”
Maternal images of God may be absent from most modern Christian churches, but they are certainly not absent from Christian scripture. Read more »
I was talking with Rev. Mike today when it came out of my mouth. “I love your church. I love the nice people there. I grew up singing, and really believing, ‘Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.’ I think of that loving Jesus, and I think about how I understand God, sometimes male and sometimes female. And I have to tell you, part of what holds me back where church is concerned is that sort of angry, pissy God that some folks put out there.”
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