At St. Anna’s Episcopal Church, we are not a church that welcomes African Americans, by which I mean a white church with a hand-full of African American members. We are not a church that welcomes gays—a straight church reaching out to folks regardless of sexual orientation. We aren’t a wealthy church that helps out the poor among us. At St. Anna’s, as a wealthy, white, straight female, I am the minority. The church belongs to those not like me in race, sexual orientation, or economic status.
Yet, St. Anna’s welcomes me.
She smiles when I approach the door. He holds out his hand to pass me the peace. He thanks me for coming.
Sitting in the pew, experiencing St. Anna’s, I am struck again how my view of the world casts me in the leading role of the magnanimous one. Confused by my distorting, dominant lens, I believe the choice rests with me to accept those the world pushes to the margins, or to not accept. I am the one in control, in charge, and I bask in self-satisfied pride when I act appropriately: I am such a nice, right-thinking person.
Worshiping at St. Anna’s, I understand my choice differently. I have the option, or not, of accepting God’s Kindom. If I accept, I give up the control. I recede into the background, into the group, into community.
I kneel on the pew. Those around me kneel. Together, we worship. For this, I am eternally grateful.
here’s to creative synthesis . . .