God and Church
Who says you can't be gay and be a Christian? It wasn't until recently that I found that balance between being a Christian and being a homosexual.
Finding God and Christ came about rather interestingly. I was on WBS' Guy Chat room chatting with some people who lived in the Dallas area when someone came into the room and flamed all homosexuals saying that God was going to kill us all. Someone spoke up to the individual instead of ignoring him, which started a conversation about God and gays. I stopped what I was doing and watched the screen as it filled up with powerful words about God and how he loved us all. During this half-hour debate, the Cathedral of Hope was mentioned. The person was a former member who moved away from the Dallas area. I never got in touch with that person to find out more, but he put a spark into my mind about finding out more about this so-called 'gay church'. Every time I went into Guy Chat on WBS, I would ask if anybody had heard of MCC Dallas. Someone by the name alias of 'crunching' who lived in Nebraska talked to me via private messages about the Cathedral of Hope. "Crunching" was a member who moved away, but gave me the URL for COH. During this same time period, COH was running commercials on TV about being gay and being a Christian.
I checked out the web page and wrote to Jim Roberts who answered all of my questions about COH that I could think of. The following week, I stopped by the church to get a feel for it before I decided to go on Sunday. Anita Haddy gave me a tour. With all of the help and care I had received, I knew that I should try a service the following Sunday. I asked my mom to join me so that I wouldn't feel so awkward. She agreed.
My first service at COH is one I will never forget. Reverend Piazza's sermon "Traveling without a Map" was inspiring. The whole church seemed alive and genuinely happy with God. The music was exhilarating. I was so happy I was on the verge of tears. I had not been so moved. I felt God's love and presence in everyone and around me.
I have been attending COH regularly since January of 1997 and each time I go I learn a new lesson that I try to integrate into my life. With each visit I find that I am at the point of tears from all of the joy and loving emotions from the congregation filling the air. I find that God is able to know what is going on in my life to give me direction through the various sermons I have experienced at COH. The week Rev. Piazza spoke of Growth and Rev. Tucker relayed his experience of change with computers, I was going through some troubling times at work where the owner wanted me to grow and change. I was able to use that week's spiritual message to help me at work.
I moved to Austin, Texas due to a job transfer in September of 1997. I was so in love with Cathedral of Hope that I had made an arrangement with the owner of the company I work for to be able to go to Dallas on the weekends to go to church. After the first weekend, I found that I was going to be too busy in Austin to take the weekends off, so I went out to discover the local congregation of Metropolitan Community Church in Austin. Going from the COH congregation of over 2000 members to MCCA's 300-member flock, was a big adjustment at first. Many of the programs offered at the Cathedral of Hope are either non-existent or on a much smaller scale. I was at first worried that I was not going to be happy, but after the first service, I realized that smaller congregation was what I needed in my life right then and now. The most Reverend Ken Martin is the senior pastor of MCCA. I sought out to become a member as soon as I could.
MCC- Austin may be small in numbers but it is large in love and faith. We may not have a building, but we do have a church. MCC-Austin is experiencing the same growing pains of many of its sister churches in the UFMCC denomination. We recently purchased land in south Austin in which we will build a building to seat 400+ people. MCCA's motto has changed from "Coming to Our Own" to "We are the Building Generation". The church we build today will be the cornerstone of faith for future gays and lesbians.
We are currently on our land in South Austin. The address is 8601 South First Street. We are about 1/2 mile north of Slaughter Lane on South First Street. We worship at 9 am and 11 am on Sunday and 6:30 pm on Wednesdays. The building is still under-construction, as far as painting and the little details, but we are up and running. Come visit Tom and myself at MCC-Austin. Come up and say hello to us.
By the way, isn't it interesting that the Gay and Lesbian Community have embraced the Rainbow as one of its symbols? The Rainbow is a symbol of one of God's covenants to humankind. The rainbow is a symbol of God's promises… a sign of God's abiding love.
If you have any questions or comments about God or want information about MCC- Austin, the Cathedral of Hope, or UFMCC, please email me!