Writing about Cove church on Rachel Held Evan’s blog

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Since our little church Cove closed in May 2013, I have been wanting to write about it. Once I got past the shock, heartbreak and frustration… I felt this seed of hope and gratefulness welling up inside of me, until I couldn’t hold it in anymore. I kept feeling God asking me to write about it, but it was always, “Soon. Not yet but soon.”

Then we went to the GCN Conference in Chicago (my thoughts about our experience here) and I had the pleasure of meeting Rachel Held Evans in the flesh, as she was one of the keynote speakers. It was a fleeting moment of the weekend that I found myself sharing with her what happened with Cove, and she asked me to write a guest post about it. After believing I had misheard her, I enthusiastically nodded my head and began thanking God in advance that He arranged the story to come out in this way. On her blog. For her thousands of readers and 38.7K Twitter followers to see. What a tribute to these people of Cove and their real love.

So often there have been stories of LGBT members being kicked out of their churches, and this one is so different. It needs to be heard.

She posted the story yesterday morning, and I have since been blown away by the amount of positive encouragement people have gotten from it, and how they have responded. [Not to mention the 1600+ Facebook shares????]

RHE_screen

For such a small church in a suburb of a Canadian city – this is a BIG DEAL. At least… to me it is. I wanted to tell this story for all my LGBT brothers and sisters who are losing faith in the church, and more importantly – in God. There is hope, friends! God is FOR you. Just give his people a chance to prove that. Just like these beautiful people did. I am in awe at this kind of love lived out in such a real way.

This is God’s story of hope, and of unconditional love, and I truly hope that comes through.

What an honor.

Rachel, my sister in Christ, I cannot thank you enough.

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8 thoughts on “Writing about Cove church on Rachel Held Evan’s blog

    Rev. Emily Heitzman said:
    February 6, 2014 at 2:05 am

    I’m so glad you had the opportunity to share this story and use it to bring encouragement and hope to so many others! I did not share this with you on RHE blog, but I wanted to let you know that your story (which is God’s story) brings me a lot of hope, too! I had been connected to a CMA church in my past… My college boyfriend (who eventually turned into my husband and later my ex-husband) grew up in one, and his family still attends. (A few of my close college friends attend that church, as well.) My experiences with my ex-in-laws and with some of my friends who are still connected to the church were not the positive ones you experienced… (Let’s just say it was not easy – and at times, was quite painful – to have in-laws and friends who were members there – as woman who felt called into ministry and later went through a divorce…) So it brings me so much joy and hope to hear about your experiences with Sean and the rest of the Cove congregation members. What a true testament to the kind of radical love Jesus calls us to have and show!

      staceychomiak responded:
      February 6, 2014 at 5:52 am

      Hey Emily, thanks for your thoughts, I so appreciate that! I am so glad the story on RHE’s blog brought you some hope! That was all I could ask for! I am sorry to hear about your not-so-positive past with the CMA church. That sounds like it was definitely a rough road to walk, wow. I definitely understand some of those painful times, for sure. Even though my experience growing up in church was with PAOC, a lot of my extended family was and always have been involved in CMA churches in Manitoba. Most of my extended family is not affirming, and while, trying their best to “hate the sin love the sinner”… well, there can still be a lot of hurt with that. Having people in my life that aren’t all excited Tams and I are married, while tough, keeps me humbled and challenged and on my knees to keep asking God how can I extend more grace and love better… even when it’s really the last thing I want to do. Knowing there are people like these from Cove is surely a great reminder for me too. Thanks again for your thoughts! Keep in touch!

    […] Writing about Cove church on Rachel Held Evan's blog. […]

    x x said:
    February 9, 2014 at 9:09 am

    Stacey & Tammy, please drop in on us at Fairview Presbyterian Church, 2725 Fir Street, Vancouver.
    http://www.fairviewchurch.ca/
    You will be very, very welcome — I guarantee that you will have a positive experience of worship with us. We’d love to have you in our community.
    David A.

      staceychomiak responded:
      February 9, 2014 at 3:45 pm

      Hi David – Thank you so much for the invitation. We will definitely have to try and arrange a time to visit Fairview. Thanks again!

        x x said:
        February 9, 2014 at 10:32 pm

        Great — hope to see you soon!
        David A.

        x x said:
        February 17, 2014 at 11:37 pm

        At Fairview a couple of members have started an ‘Inclusivity Group’: a fancy name for being welcoming and accepting. Our next Inclusivity Group meeting will be on Wednesday, March 5th (Ash Wednesday) at 7:30pm in the church lounge. I know it’s a long drive from Maple Ridge, but should you wish to come that evening, you’d be most welcome.

        I can email you contact details of the group leaders if you wish.

        David A.

    staceychomiak responded:
    February 20, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    Hi David – Thanks for that invite, but I have an appt in Maple Ridge that night, so it won’t work for us. We will definitely keep your church in mind and let you know when we plan to visit. Thanks again!

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