I've been attending here approximately four and a half years. Coming to Holy Spirit was a breath of fresh air for me. I want to give you a piece of my personal history because this is too early for me and you at 8 o'clock might now know me. So, my name is Michelle and I'm a Presbyterian.
I was raised more in the Presbyterian Church and I was very active all through my young adult life and college and I actually landed myself here in the great Pacific Northwest as Director of Youth Ministries at Central Kitsap Presbyterian Church. And that was a big shift for me because I came to a small church -- I was raised in congregations of 2500 to 3000 people. And in those congregations they were very evangelical, VERY evangelical. And I found myself being preached of at theology that you cannot be gay and Christian. And when I cam up here, I found a theology that told me a little bit different. But even then I learned that I could not be in a relationship. As I progressed and found myself unable to deny my sexuality, I found myself struggling deeply with my spirituality. And in that space I found I could no longer be a Presbyterian. That was a huge personal life crisis. And in the end I ended up getting a Masters of Social Work because in the school of social work it was a lot easier for me to say I am lesbian than for me to say I am Christian. That is why Holy Spirit was such a breath of fresh air because if you don't make a personal statement about inclusivity, as you guys have printed in the bulletin every single Sunday morning, I assume you don't accept me. I assume I'm not present, not allowed. Because that's the main message of our culture.
Coming here and finding that, even though your Lutheran liturgy is sometimes hard for me; sometimes the music feels a little awkward. But I found a home. And that, I think, is what you're going to hear from Pastor Katy this morning. That the scripture this morning is Jesus' calling of the disciples...and I don't want to steal Pastor Katy's thunder...but the calling of the disciples in this scripture starts with one disciples being called and seen and then going out to the community and saying, "Hey, come over. Come, let's see! I've found the Messiah and he's from Nazareth." And the other disciple responds, "What good can come from Nazareth?" As I was looking at this and thinking about my talk this morning I though a little bit about my journey and the fact that I have been involved with Salt House ever since half way through the first calling committee.
I don't know about you, but as the gray hair has sprouted on my head, I find myself a little bit more ageist in my approach to life. And there are days where I go 'what good can come from this younger generation?' They don't know how to talk to each other, all they do is text, they don't know what it means to communicate face-to-face. But as I've been more involved and, honestly I love the younger generation, I love working with kids and I'm very passionate about youth and family, but I invite you as the disciples who were invited to come and see what good can come. Because there is an amazing passion going on and the incivility, the openness for all, is something that our youth are longing for and needing and desiring. So, I encourage you next week, come and see what's going on. Come and see and get involved.
I happen to also be a closet Star Trek fan and my wife right now is out of town, so I've been doing a little bit of binge-ing on Star Trek while she's gone because she won't let me watch it when she's around. And as I was writing this thinking through my thoughts for today I was also watching Star Trek. And to quote my second favorite captain -- Jesus my first -- Captain Jean Luc Picard: "Let's see what's out there. Engage!"