As much as we say we’re all together and one big family, humans always find ways to separate. We pick a part of ourselves and search out others who match. Not in an attempt to other ourselves, but rather in an attempt to connect deeper with our fellow humans. We want that intimate connection that comes with finding community.
Here on this blog, I’m building my own space to connect with the communities I feel drawn to. Specifically those that fall into the three areas of my life that are lacking in the community support area: LGBTQ+, Polyamory, and Faith. So far the trickiest has been finding that faith-based community.
I am a part of our local polyam community. I interact with others in the local Facebook groups. And we have all attended the local meetups and get together throughout the years (pre-Covid of course). And because there is a lot of overlap, we are also getting plugged into the LGBTQ+ community, with plans to support, help out, and attend events when things are back up and running safely.
Before Covid, Lovey and I had started church shopping, popping in on services as our schedules allowed to get a feel for the church and congregation. We noticed right away that many, almost all, touted the “we welcome everyone” message. But digging not so deep into their beliefs and mission statements, the message suddenly became clearer: we welcome everyone who believes the way we do.
During the more extreme lock-down months, we played with the idea of maybe just doing our own thing. Our reasons for church shopping were not only about the community. We also wanted that spiritual growth, that designated time to spend in His Word. There were plenty of resources online to do a kind of bible study on our own. We even attempted a shopping trip (when stores were open) to a Christian bookstore.
What we found
The biggest thing we discovered while browsing the shelves? There are very few studies designed for couples to do together. Even fewer for co-ed groups. Most are designed for either men or women, teen or adult, single or newly married.
Another thing we noticed was that nothing looked at the teachings from a queer perspective. Not surprising. There were only a few books in the entire store that even addressed homosexuality. And they were not flattering. (I *may* have hidden them.)
So what were we to do? We did settle on a couple foundational studies that looked at who God is at his core. And I recently started a brand new devotional for queer folx by these guys. (More on that coming soon!) So that took care of that part. But what about the community?
Asking for church recommendations in any polyam Facebook group is quickly met with crickets or smart ass remarks. Not exactly helpful.
Sure, we could attend a church that hit most of our wish list and aligned with most of our beliefs. We could just attend services and not mention that we were polyamorous. But how could we build those relationships, become a part of that community, and expect authenticity from others if we were not able to offer the same?
We are hopeful that soon we will be able to check out more churches. (I here there’s a vaccine out that could help us all get back to a new normal, with fewer lock-downs and more parties.) We are hopeful that we will find that faith community where we can be fully ourselves, no hiding. And that we will be accepted. But until then, we will have to create our own.
Share with me how you found your communities. Are you able to be authentic in your faith and your life? Or are you, like us, still keeping a part hidden?