New Year, New Church
The soul has maqams. The soul rests in places of beauty. The soul may have many maqams over the course of its journey, many different resting-places at different times of one’s life.
After 14 wonderful years in the Episcopal Church, I am feeling drawn to another maqam, another place of soul-refreshment.
There is no unhappiness that is driving me away from the Episcopal Church (not even the loud and angry conservatives in the larger Anglican Communion). I have always felt very welcome and accepted in the two Episcopal Churches I’ve belonged to over the past 14 years: St. Luke’s in Atlanta, then St. James in Marietta. I’m simply feeling drawn to a different type of church community at this time in my life.
My new maqam is Gentle Spirit Christian Church, pastored by Rev. Paul Turner (pictured below). Paul and I have been friends for many years; the two of us serve on the Board of Directors for Whosoever Ministries.
Gentle Spirit is an unusual “church without walls” that meets outdoors at a picnic pavilion in Candler Park in Atlanta. It’s a small church that is very involved in community activism, especially regarding gay rights and peace and justice issues.
There’s a sense of joy and excitement in Gentle Spirit’s Sunday morning services that I just haven’t felt in church in quite a while. I look forward to being an active part of this community of faith.