Sunday, November 21, 2004

Stepping Out of the Closet (so to speak)

OK. Get your minds out of the gutter, perverts among you. This has nothing to do with sex.

However, I was reflecting this week that being a Catholic by baptism and exploring a Protestant church is very much like being a gay person and being in the closet, at least here in Louisiana. And that is made even worse when you have worked for the Catholic church in a previous life. I'm afraid of the Catholic people I know rejecting me if they found out I've been going to a Lutheran Church and liking it. I think my manager would just about have a heart attack.

What I really need, what would make all of this easier, would be validation from someone I know who is Catholic. But that isn't forthcoming, I guess.

But this afternoon, I took a big chance and did something out of character for me. I went to lunch with the young adult group at the church I've been going to. The pastor (who remembered my name despite the fact that I have only ever told it to him once) handed me an invitation as I was leaving. I was tempted to ignore it because I was scared, but I don't know anyone close to my age around here and decided to step out of my comfort zone. There were about 10 people there, including the pastor (who is not a young adult, but a good guy). The interesting thing is that no one there was originally from Louisiana. Everyone was from the midwest. I didn't talk much because I didn't know anyone (yeah, I'm an introvert) but I was really comfortable. Culturally, it was a good fit for me. The pastor said he would introduce me to a couple at the church who was originally from Pittsburgh next week.

I have to say, I really, really like it there. People are never welcomed like that in the Catholic Church. I'm just really scared to go any further with this exploration. Maybe I'll take a chance and sit down and talk with the pastor sometime. Maybe Advent - they are doing weekly Wednesday night services then. Maybe the new liturgical year can be a new start.

No comments: