I was one of the many people raising their hands last night when asked how many of us in the Travis Park sanctuary were attending our first Convocation. Not only was I thrilled to see so many others sharing this experience for the first time, I was also relieved! It was nice to know I would be in good company if I appeared to look a little dazed and confused as we move through the wonder of this event. It was just as comforting to know it wouldn’t matter in the least if I did—guidance, hugs, and love have been abounding from the moment I first set foot inside Travis Park UMC.

It was, and continues to be, nothing less than I would’ve expected from a group of people committed to being God’s love.

Back in February, I began to get the sense that making it here needed to happen—that this would be a key piece of my continuing journey with God and all of God’s people. The UMC and I, more or less, chose each other by the grace of God leading me to a Reconciling congregation where I have been fully supported, accepted, and encouraged to grow. However, the harm we have seen coming from our official language in just this year alone has been disheartening at best.

It’s been no small struggle to grow into a church that officially restricts my full being and demands that my call be silenced.

My stores of hope in The UMC had been running low as denominations around us embraced the truth of God’s all-inclusive love and grace, all while we officially stood still.

I tell you what, folks, after last night’s opening worship, my stores are once again overflowing. The truth, beauty, and immense vulnerability present throughout the evening were awe-inspiring and pure nourishment for the soul. From everyone here to all joining us from afar, there was (and is) holiness in the house. One cannot be in this place and not feel the Holy Spirit and its movement of heart and soul in the people of God.

Day after day, we say, “Come, Spirit, Come,” and we are blessed.

Tune in live at www.gather2015.org or watch archived video of the events already passed

Angie Cox

Angie Cox lives in Columbus, Ohio, with her partner, Annette, and their two dogs, Sydney and Reese. She has an insatiable desire to learn. She currently works as an Instructional Designer in educational publishing but is in the process of applying to seminary. Still relatively new to the UMC family, Angie is strongly drawn to and encouraged by the drive to work for social justice for all and sees this as a key to loving God and others with whole heart, soul, and mind. Angie spends her leisure time running, cycling, kayaking, playing disc golf, and/or reading something—most likely nonfiction.

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