Posted September 12, 2015 by Marg Herder
It’s the 12th, and that’s the day I post on the Emerging Voices blog on Patheos. Today I’ve written a personal reflection about my experience of the Sung Compline service I’ve been attending at a local church.
“Everyone Is Welcome,” announces a small sign over the door of the gothic brick edifice. It was first placed there to make sure people of color knew it was safe to enter in the sixties; later it served as an indication that people with AIDS were welcome too. Now it whispers carefully to me each time I enter. If the sign were any larger I’d be spooked.
I’m not scared of the building. I’m not scared of worship, or of God. I’m not scared of the two-story tall cross affixed to the wall in the front of the sanctuary. I’m only scared of the people and their politics— though of course, I don’t really even know them.
But the small sign whispers that I am welcome, and I take it on faith that it is true.
Lisa often takes my arm as we enter together at 9 pm every second Thursday of the month. She guides me through the dim light in the narthex into the large candle-lit sanctuary. Six tall candles on the altar. Three more high overhead in special lanterns. One in the aisle, and dozens in votive holders at the foot of the altar. I imagine each of them being carefully lit in honor of someone in need of more light.