safe landing

Many moons ago (about ten years!) God managed to get me to open up to my desire for a deeper relationship with God and to find community of people that would help me to foster that relationship. Sadly, the church in all its humanness (and my own stubbornness) had kept me away from the church for about ten years. But there was that yearning, that space that wasn't filled.

To make a long story short, a friend helped me find a parish in Portland where I felt welcomed, and I read in the bulletin that they had a casual discussion group type thing called "Landings" for "alienated Catholics." I fit that bill. So I went. And over the next few weeks, through some amazing and honest conversations with regular Catholics who also had questions, I realized something ... for me at least it made more sense to doubt and wonder and pray with other people than on my own. So, I came back to the Church.

Tonight I joined a group of folks at my parish here in Seattle who were there to provide a safe landing place for other Catholic types who have been away for whatever reason. We didn't have a huge crowd knocking down our door, but it was a great experience just to be with other Catholics who have struggled with their own God/church relationship and still feel enough of a desire and hope not only to show up on Sundays, but to be a safe landing space for others.

We'll see if we have any more folks next week, but even if not, it was a nice reminder to me of my own journey and desire to be open to God and church (with both a big "C" and a little "c"). With everything going on these days in this little old church of ours, that was a good reminder.


Anonymous said...

Grateful that you were part of group who hosted Landings. We certainly need safe havens to share our struggles and hopes. Good work.

France said...

Wish I was in Seattle to join you.
Thank you for writing about this, didn't realize such groups gathered. Every time I think I'm finally okay with the church, another headline surfaces, I shake my head and back off again. Fortunately, I've found other spiritual communities to join with, though I dearly wish it could be the church of my childhood.