There is beauty in the gathering, but I got hurt along the way too. I have been burned by judgement, platforms and expectations. I have been told I was not baptized by the blood of the lamb. I have been told that as a woman, I could not preach, or lead, or do anything that had to do with teaching men, unless they were children under the age of 18. I have been told through a sermon that I was a blot and a blemish.
As I stepped away, as I removed myself from the equation of gathering together, I realized it was impossible to run from that which I am. For, I am the church.
I am the Church and you are also.
We are the church, just as we are. The Church, The Body, The Bride … made in the image of an uncontainable God. Church is not defined by four walls, a pulpit and a stage. No, it is far bigger than we make it out to be, because it is you and I. Yet, God asks that we gather together to create it.
As I began searching for a church again, I found it in the most irregular places. I found church on the streets, at concerts, at my dining room table, and around a fire pit singing songs and tellings stories. I have found church in the forest and in the bustling city. I have found church everywhere.
After years of not attending organized church, I decided to return. It took me a while to find a place that felt safe enough. There is no perfect church, because there are no perfect people. And now I find myself on Sunday mornings, gathering in a school building in my hometown with a wild bunch of Jesus lovers.
I choose the church, and that means I choose the people. It wasn’t an easy choice, because people are messy. But I really believe the church needs us. The Bride needs the people who have been through it all. The Body needs the wanderers and the wild ones, the audacious and the unconventional, the misfits and the outcasts and the lost church kids who haven’t found their way back home again…
– Jenny Rose Foster
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