As a teenager growing up in the Methodist Church of Schulenburg, Texas during the late 1960s, my mother nervously approached my grandfather and asked if she could go to the High School homecoming dance with her friend Robert.
“You know he is Catholic don’t you?” he asked.
My mother remembers being distraught. “It’s not like I am going to marry him Daddy!”
Her argument made sense somehow and she was allowed to go to the dance.
Several years later, my mother married a different Robert, but a Catholic nonetheless. While the details are not clear, I have always counted that the Holy Spirit eventually moved my grandfather during these years as it also stimulated the entire global Church toward ecumenism, and I consider this activity of the Spirit part of my own salvation history (it resulted in my birth).
In “This is Us,” getting to know another Christian with the same or different religious background is how we learn “Who We Are.” While Liz and David lead the conversations, the real breakthroughs in my opinion come from the questions and answers of the others in the group based on their own backgrounds.
These backgrounds include Episcopal, Roman, Methodist and Lutheran and others.
As a group, we create a safe environment to listen and learn from each other. I leave feeling refreshed that others have the same questions I have, that others feel just as nervous asking those same questions. We are learning a new dance, or to dance again, to a tune that is familiar but resonates within us in a new way.
I recommend “This is Us” to everyone: Newcomer or Elder, Fully Formed or Curious. No matter where we are in the dance, we can follow another’s lead to a deeper home with each other at Palmer.