We didn’t start out talking about church. Although, as a female clergy person, folks often surprise me by bringing up controversial questions about spirituality and faith. I guess they figure a woman with a collar creates a resistant and safe space. Somewhere toward the end of our conversation about farms, families and communities, my young friend said,
“I want to come to church. Except. I don’t believe in an old man in the sky.”
“Neither do I!” was my response.
Emboldened, she continued, “I believe in the other stuff though: love and community and doing good for others. And we want our young daughter to have these things and a foundation for her life. But we don’t want her to experience fear, hatred, or judgement. Is that possible?”
I paused at her frankness and admitted, “That’s why I became ordained. I was so tired of people peddling those kinds of philosophies in the name of God. So, I work to create safe spaces to ask important questions. And I think we have that here in Gibsons.”
She lit up. “Do you guys have a potluck after church?”
“Well, not for a while. But we will now!”
And we are! What better day than Mother’s Day to come together, to sing for joy, to process our grief, and to engage in real wondering. Then share yummy food, wear big hats, and play games. We will have lots and lots of music, including a Mothers’ Day concert sung by Wild Voices and The Sunshine Coast Children’s Choir. And then we’ll just see what happens.
I went to my office the next day, and created a flyer for this event, then gave a handful of them to my young friend. “Hope you can come,” I smiled. “And bring your guitar.”
The Rev. Dr. Joyce Parry-Moore is the Vicar of St.Bart’s in Gibsons, at 659 North Road. The Mother’s Day Celebration will begin at 11 a.m. with inclusive worship, and continue with a potluck, music, and activities for children. All are welcome.