Clint is telling the story of the first Sunday he and Matt attended St. Barnabas.
“We were really nervous when we walked through the door. But for different reasons. For Matt, it was the feelings of rejection he had received from the church in which he grew up; he was afraid that this church might reject him, too.
“But at least he had some idea of what might happen during worship. I was the complete outsider; being inside a church was a new experience for me. I had no idea what to expect. When the Service started, I was completely befuddled. Matt couldn’t help me; he was too choked up with emotion about worshiping for the first time in years. Fortunately, an older gentleman noticed my confusion, and gently showed me where to turn in the book, and made sure I knew when to sit and stand and kneel.
“We attended a few times, and Matt decided to join. I wasn’t sure what to do, since I had no grounding in Christian faith. But St. Barnabas has a wonderful process called the catechumenate, in which I enrolled. After about six months of instruction and mentoring, and a ton of questions that I asked, the Spirit led me to trust God, and I was baptized. I was very much the outsider, and the church graciously allowed me to express all my concerns and grow at my own speed.”
Thank you, God, for congregations that allow us to question, to doubt, and to explore faith. Amen.