Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sacred Community

The Book of Mormon English Missionary Edition ...
The Book of Mormon English Missionary Edition Soft Cover (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Last night I told my husband that I want to become Mormon.  As part of my job, I visit with different school, civic and faith communities, talking about the work of our organization and seeking support for that work.  Last night I met with a group of parents from a neighborhood block club and then went to talk with a women's group at a Mormon church on the North Shore.  It was my first time inside a Mormon church and based on the things that I had read, I wasn't sure what to expect. 

I walked in to what looked like a very nice community center.  My host told me that most Mormon churches have a similar simple design, "Our buildings are built more for utility than decoration.  We like to have a good gymnasium and meeting rooms."  I liked that.  A church built for activity.  When I met with the women they had incorporated into their meeting a time for service.  They were all asked to bring laundry detergent for the transitional shelter that we operate and they were busy measuring it into little baggies that we could distribute to individuals.

There were young women in their early 20's, pregnant women in their 30's and others who were 60+.  It was a group that had made a commitment to cook dinner once a month for our shelter, for the last 21 years.  I spoke and they asked great questions and I left with multiple offers from them to do more in the future.  I left the building and was immediately hungry for that community in my own life.  The sacred community that calls me to be my best self, most generous self, most intentional self.  The sacred community that asks me to think about others, not just the people that live in my own home.  The sacred community that cares for it's babies and it's elders and holds everyone in between.  The sacred community that serves as a safety net and extended family for "their own" and a welcoming hand for the stranger.  I miss it all.

Unfortunately, there are some deal breaker parts for me regarding the Mormon church, their rejection or unwillingness to offer the full sacred community to LGBT  member being the most profound.  I am grateful to have been with those Mormon women and to be reminded of the amazing gifts that intentional community offers.  I know that I need to find or create it again in order to feel full or whole - it's just who I am. 

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  1. Oh, Lisa, this really hit home for me. I can totally empathize with how you feel. Love you line about "The sacred community that calls me to be my best self, most generous self, most intentional self."

    I've been attending North Shore Unitarian for the past few months and I am slowly starting to feel like a part of that sacred community. Sometimes it just clicks, other times it is a slow, steady process.

  2. I learned much about true church community from you and I hope you find that again soon.

  3. maybe you are meant to create your own sacred community...don't limit your dream to the four walls of existing buildings.