Thanks Pat for providing this week’s letter for our members. You really have expressed how wonderful the community is. Pat wanted me to attach this fun-loving photo of him. If you’re not a part of our private Facebook group, please reply to this letter and let me know so that we can make the arrangements to get you in. That’s where a lot of the action is!
ALSO… if any of you want to contribute an encouraging letter for our members, please send it to me. Thanks so much!
Here is Pat’s letter:
This is a rare and lovely opportunity to say what I have wanted to say for a very long time. I love you.
In my own life, I have come here through many periods in life, but it was when I came here that was important. Like many here, I had always tried to belong and belonging came with shared belief even if I did not believe. I never felt completely in. That has included the Charismatic Church from 1985 through 1992, Evangelical from 1993 through 2002, then the emergent from 2006-2010 and then the Episcopal vibe from 2010 through 2012. I kept changing and kept moving and then gave up and claimed atheist. I could not even fit in there.
Angry, dark and alone, I found TLS. For the first time it did not matter what I believed, what mattered is me. People cared about me. There were people here all over the map of belief and nonbelief and transitions and deconstructions. Not only was it all accepted, it was not the point. We were the point. It would have been hard to trust, but the authenticity was so overwhelming that it was easy to be swept up in the current of love.
I have come here to share so much.
I have come here when I knew I needed to leave the night and the dark of the taxi and embrace a new world of light.
I have come here when I was angry and hurt.
I came here to celebrate a relationship that swiftly ended when the woman turned out to be a drug addict.
I came here on the heels of that to celebrate finding romantic love for the first time in my life.
I came here when that love was threatened by a manipulative ex boyfriend and celebrated when justice was served and he was arrested and found guilty in trial.
I came here to mourn loss of family through death.
I came here to mourn the loss of that love I had found and celebrate the struggle of restoring the friendship her and I have.
Through this space I have found the ability to allow the artist within to finally share with the world and you found it good.
In other words, I have shared life and love here in all it’s diversity and honesty.
It is my hope that I have given as much as I have received in this space. I am beholden to so many of you for all that I am today and all that I will become as we continue this journey together.
I come to you without advice or words of wisdom. I stand here before you to say merely this:
Thank you for loving me. Thank you for accepting me. Thank you for challenging me. Thank you for holding me when I mourn and celebrating when I come alive. Thank you for allowing me to see you as you are and love you as you have loved me.
The face and complexity and tone of TLS is a lot like us. Always changing and always growing and questioning, but as long as the core of love remains, we will always be beautiful as we are.