|The Book of Mormon English Missionary Edition Soft Cover (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
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.