Church is a spiritual institution, a place of worship. My experience with the church as a child was one of fire and brimstone, discomfort and intolerance. I found myself connected with a God I thought to be different. I visualized remaining outside of the church, peering into the window, witnessing a pseudo-worshipping congregation, dissimulated by the precepts of hell and damnation. I was not spiritually uplifted. Instead, I felt demeaned and afraid. But, I also visualized, standing next to me, other people who dared not go in, and among the crowd, there was always God. That is when I knew my Church was elsewhere.
Years later, through decisions, hardships, and life, I truly believe God answered a prayer that I made outside of that church window a long time ago. There was no building, nor steeple, nor choir, nor hymns. My Church started with friendship; a friend who was called by God to become a minister. His movement in the community lifted my spirit and his compassion encouraged me to find peace through worship and scripture. He introduced me to a whole new way to connect with God, a way that fit every inch of who I am.
My congregation is friendship and fellowship, growing every week. My Praises are within nature; hitting the trails, zoning out, being thankful, coming clean, asking for advice, accelerating my heart rate, feeling loved, feeling alive, feeling uplifted. My Worship starts with hopping on my bike and handing out burritos to my friends on the streets. My Worship never ends, now that I know I, too, can bring Church to those who are looking for a home.
UBFM is a spiritual institution. Together, let’s educate one another on love, movement, devotion, and being the light for others to see. Let Church, wherever that may be, guide us to make the world a better place, to connect one-on-one with God, or to just see yourself as a perfect mold in an imperfect world. I love you all. Thank you for being a part of my family and my home.
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being rewarded day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
2 Corinthians 4: 16-18