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Here you can read more about some of those who participate in our community. Browse through to get a sense of some of the people who call OSLC their church home.
Our Experience at SF Pride - Patrice
Our family is new to OLSC. We joined the congregation looking for a better connection to God, faith, community, and a sense of belonging. Since day one, we have been welcomed by the staff and community. When OSLC invited the community to walk together in San Francisco's PRIDE parade, I knew this was something I wanted to do with my two kids, now 15 & 13.
The weather that day was perfect; warm in the sun and cool in the shade. It was almost like the atmosphere was ordered specifically so there would be as many supporters at this historic PRIDE parade as possible. BART was packed with teens and young adults on their way to the parade and the energy was intoxicating. In the excitement, we missed our stop, but this was a blessing as it gave us an opportunity to walk along the parade route. The floats were beautiful, colorful and whimsical. As we walked through the dancing crowds, it was apparent that everyone was having a blast.
When we arrived at our assigned meeting spot we were greeted by Milo and Julie, who outfitted us with loving Lutheran tattoos and a banner that we would carry. We all talked and laughed with people from other Lutheran congregations and enjoyed some interesting people watching.
Once our procession began I was nervous about being there and how it would feel to have so many people and television cameras looking at us. Luckily, once we turned the corner onto Market Street, we all opened up and got into the spirit of PRIDE. We pulled out the Mardi Gras beads and rainbow colored daisies that we brought. Throughout the parade, the kids were beaming as we handed out our treats to the cheering people on the sidelines. The crowds were filled families with their kids supporting the festivities. It was evident that having the support of our church, brought joy to so many people. We were so proud to be there that day, proud to be a family, proud to be walking as a new Lutheran, and proud that our country had just become one step closer to equality & acceptance.
Back in Lafayette, we ran into a devout family friend who was offended that our family and our church walked in the PRIDE parade; she used quotes from the bible and lectured us about sin. I grew up in the same church as well, but I obviously interpreted the teachings differently. After our beautiful experience, this was upsetting for all of us and I wished I could have thought of a good response. The next time I see her, I'll be stronger and I'll be prepared. I'll say, "If Jesus were here on the day of the PRIDE parade, I have no doubt that He would have been standing with us in support instead of standing in judgment. I believe that He would choose to make the world a kinder place—choosing to spread love instead of hate."
My Lunch at Winter Nights Shelter - Laura, grade 7
After my Winter Nights experience I truly believe God lives everywhere. When I first got there not much was going on. I was thinking "Oh no this is going to be boring." Quickly after though I thought twice. A little kid wanted to play. We had races, and whatever else little boys do for fun. He was unfazed by the environment he was living in, like any other 5 year old you would meet. Except he was living so much differently. He was living on people's kindness.
A similar story at lunch with a kid named Gabe. Full of energy and exuberance. It's shocking to see what you'd think to be depressed bored kids in a homeless shelter to be full of life. Partly probably because they don't fully understand what's happening and why they are there, but also because God stirs everywhere. And God doesn't care rich or poor, you are simply a child of God that is loved.