Hello. I'm Ouisi. I've been part of this church for about ten years now--ten years in which this church took me from hard-core nondenominational fundamentalist to gung-ho Baptist. This church has nourished me through its community of friendship, its encouragement of learning, and a lot of Wednesday night dinners. I learned here that it was okay to be female, okay to ask questions, okay to have doubts, and okay to fall a little more on the "head" side of the head/heart axis. Most of the people here are from the wealthier and more educated part of the local population, just like at Grace where I grew up, but they don't ignore the poor, or insist that everyone interpret Scripture through a sacred litany of pop theologians.
When I brought Patrick here, people welcomed him and didn't try to convert him or make him feel like he needed to work at fitting in. They like to ask him questions-- how do the Catholics read this passage of Scripture? How does your parish celebrate this holy day? When Patrick and I got married, it was at the altar of this church. We were blessed and our hands were united by the pastor of this church, and by Patrick's family priest.
Now I'm working on increasing the size of this congregation by one. I don't want my kid to grow up with the same bad expectations of God and of Christians that I once had. So I have some things I want to ask you to do.