Friday, October 31, 2014

Stewardship Witness: Love wants to be loved

During stewardship every year, we ask members of the community to share a little of their journey and tell us why they choose to be generous.

I came to San Diego 5 years ago, with Martha, who is now my wife. Like many people new to San Diego, I went about trying to find a sense of community. But San Diego can be a hard town to meet new friends!

I tried going to the LGBT Center’s Latina Women’s Group, but it was not for me. They weren’t very friendly and, oddly, I did not feel welcome. I missed my church as well. So I tried going to a church that was recommended to me by a friend. But the music was not for me! It was played by a rock band, and it was much too loud!

Then one day we found St. Paul’s Cathedral when we were walking by and saw the banner that said, “Misa en Español.”

I came in on a Sunday, and the first thing I saw was a woman saying the mass! Now THAT was something interesting! I had never seen that before.

And then I heard the invitation to communion: “This is the table, not of the church, but of Jesus, come you who have tried to follow and you who have failed, come not because the church invites you, it is Jesus and he invites you to meet him here.”

When I heard that invitation, I have no words to describe how powerful it was for me. I knew right then and there I had found a home.

As a lesbian Latina, I have never experienced a church like this, a church where I was welcomed, where I was accepted for who I am. Now every time I take communion my heart jumps for joy. Sometimes it’s so much my happiness that I want to cry.

I love St. Paul’s because there is so much freedom here. You can ask questions! And you can disagree with the answers too! Here I feel like I am building a true relationship with Jesus, and it is a church family that is very friendly and welcoming.

One day recently there was a family who wasn’t sure if they could come to communion. The mother didn’t think she could take communion because her old church told her that she wasn’t good enough. I told her – yes you can! You are welcome, and she went with me.

I give generously to St. Paul’s because I want everyone, like that family, and like me, to feel the love and the welcome of this community. In Spanish we say “cariño quiere cariño.” Translated into English that is “love wants to be loved.”

Saint Paul’s Cathedral, the Latino Service and the whole community sustain my faith in myself, in the world and in God.

Thank you!

Gladis Jiménez González

Thank you to all of our witnesses who so courageously share a part of their lives with us so that we might be opened up just a little more to how God is working in our lives and in the life of St. Paul’s.

Do you have a story to tell about why you are thankful to St. Paul’s? 
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