Gays and Roses
Church Hopping #10
After posting last week’s blog of our adventures to the Eritrean church, one of my best friends read it and asked if we could go to the Celebration Community Church in Fort Worth. And we did.
Evidently, Cody West (the best friend), hadn’t been to church in 12 years unless for a wedding or funeral and Celebration Community Church (CCC) was that last church. It is a gorgeous European style church, chartered in the late 1800s by 12 German families in the South side of Fort Worth. In 1950 it became St. John’s Evangelical Church and I’m not sure at what point it became CCC, but it had at least been that since 2003.
The same Reverend, Carol West (no relation), a nourishing and wise middle-aged lesbian woman, was still leading the church.
My husband and two little boys met Cody and a parishioner he had already befriended outside of the stone chapel. Inside we were greeted by friendly faces and I quickly learned my modern dilemma- there would be no childcare. (They DO have childcare at the later service for the 9 children that regularly attend. They are also going to have a Grease sing-a-long movie night and the rest of the bulletin is full of their philanthropic activities.) So, with a deep breath, the 5 of us took our seats.
The worship service was set up like a traditional, perhaps Evangelical service. But looking around and filling out my visitor form (it had the options to check: “single” or “partnered”), I learned otherwise. From what I could tell, ALL of the congregation (half male, half female) were LGBTQ. “YES!”, I thought. LGBTQ get bonus points in my book, because they are obviously advanced souls. There was one Transgender female that I saw, again bonus points. Although there was little or no racial diversity, my husband and children were the only non-Anglos in the room, I think anyone would feel welcome at this church.
A fabulous choir of four began, singing sweetly in this glorious hall. I quickly started replacing all of the masculine pronouns with feminine ones, which is kind of a tiring task but I didn’t mind it amongst these lovely people. I did find myself thinking about how FABULOUS this church would be if they acknowledged that the Divine was feminine at least half of the time. It would let all of the gay men there know that their feminine side was okay.. even HOLY. And for all of the lesbians, to think of God as at least half female, would make sure they were never ashamed of their body parts.
About this time Nikko, my 16 month old, started to get restless. After the second time he pulled the rope off of the reserved pews, I took him outside.
I was tickled, that he immediately led me to the ornate wrought-iron gate of the CCC’s ROSE GARDEN!! Why was I tickled? Because, all of the sudden She reminded me that She was there! The red rose is an ancient (and modern!) symbol of the Divine Feminine in the West. (Now you know why a rose is the FREE SOPHIA blog pic!) And it is said that the Great Goddess is the garden and that the Divine Father is the gardener. It is no coincidence that Jesus met Mary Magdalene in the garden after his resurrection. And I’ve also read that people who have had near death experiences say that Heaven is a rose garden.
Eventually Zayden, my older son, and husband found us and I took Zayden back into the Parish Hall to re-join Cody. When we re-entered, the Reverend had just finished the sermon and they started to set up for communion.
The three of us took communion and they blessed our family. We sang a few more songs and then it was over.
Quickly, after the service, several people came over and told us how well behaved my children were (Nikko and my husband had remained outside). Even Rev. West came back over and wished Zayden a happy birthday again.
Later that day, I glanced on Facebook and saw a picture and post that Cody had BOUGHT HIS MOTHER RED ROSES the same morning! As I write this, he knew nothing of the rose garden or the symbolism I saw in it, She had just led him to do it. @)>—–