From Longmont to San Diego

A few weekends ago, I finally had the opportunity to worship at Sojourn Grace Collectivein the Pacific Beach neighborhood of San Diego.

I’ve know Kate and Colby Martin, their co-pastors, for a few years. Sojourn and Left Hand are both part of the W/ Collective. Colby is helping me start Launchpad, the organization training future leaders to launch inclusive churches.

But I had never been in San Diego over a weekend so this was my first time worshiping with them.

They meet in a gym of a Lutheran church. Many people in the community were tan. Some didn’t wear shoes. The worship band started 10 minutes late — typical for California, I suppose — and led songs that I had never heard of before. The sermon and meditation weren’t what you’d hear from Jen or Paula. You can almost see the ocean from the church’s front door.

The service was beautiful and moving, but it wasn’t anything like you’d experience at Left Hand Church, 1112 miles away.

Except communion.

Colby welcomed us to the table and invited everyone to take a piece of bread. Body of Christ, broken for me. Kate invited us to dip it in the juice. Blood of Christ, shed for me.

People queued to receive the meal. They hugged their friends; some laughed; some cried.

Young and old, gay and straight, believer and doubter all came forward.

You could have magically moved everyone from Sojourn and put them at Left Hand during communion and we would have all fit in and not have missed a beat.

I cried, realizing that all across the country, thousands in inclusive churches were doing the same thing we do every week at Left Hand — receiving a simple, tangible reminder that we’re all loved by God. The table is vastly wider and longer than we can imagine but it’s up to us to pull up a chair for others.

If you’re ever in San Diego on a Sunday, stop by Sojourn and tell them Left Hand sent you. Just don’t show up on time — you’ll be too early.