The Truth Shall Set You Free

I’ve written before about my beloved albeit broken community; about my church and why I continue to be engaged with a community of faith. I am a member of and leader in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), one of the largest Protestant denominations in this country. My church has approximately 3.8 million members in around 10,000 congregations across the U.S. and the Caribbean. This church is a historically white church, founded by a German Catholic monk named Martin Luther. He never wanted to start a new church, he wanted to reform the Roman Catholic Church. Luther felt like the church was not speaking in the language of the people and that the church had lost it’s prophetic voice and leadership within society. His 95 Theses marked the beginning of what we now call the Protestant Reformation. In 2017, Lutherans around the world will mark the 500th anniversary of this historic event. My church is a church that was born out of truth-telling, risk taking and prophetic imagination.

I’ve always claimed this church as my church. I often say I am a bit of a unicorn – a Black Puerto Rican, third generation Lutheran. I was baptized, confirmed, married, educated and called to ministry in this church. At the founding convention of this church, there was a vision that the church would be 10% people of color within 10 years of our inception. This percentage has not come to pass and we’ve actually declined in the number of members of color within the church. There were always small pockets of communities of color within the denomination and people of color who were members of largely white congregations, but as a whole, we have not been good at addressing the cultural divisions that our church continues to embody.

So here I am, a young Black woman who is a leader in a predominantly white church. The past year has been difficult for me to reconcile my cultural identity and my denominational identity. I have long been a defender of the Lutheran church even as I have experienced the structural racism and brokenness that the church exhibits.

I’ve been asked if I went to college by members of this church. Not what college I went to, but if I went to college.

I’ve been told that my ability to articulate theological concepts is impressive.

I’ve been asked if one can touch my hair while being in a professional setting.

I’ve been ignored in congregations that I go to visit until people realize “who I am”.

I’ve been asked when I became Lutheran, because surely a black woman could not be born into this tradition.

I see how leaders of color are viewed and cannot get calls in congregations because “they aren’t a good fit” (read: we are a white congregation and we don’t know how to have a leader of color.)

There have also been microagressions – things that happen in subversive ways that undermine my leadership and authority – that are too many to count. At times I don’t know if it’s because I’m a woman or because I’m younger or because I’m Black. I’m always left wondering.

I’m always cognizant of the way I present myself in mostly white spaces. I think about who’s going to be there, what expectations they might have, how I talk about race and politics, what I wear, what my facial expressions are and how I am present. It’s a lot easier to notice my absence when I’m the only one or one of a handful of people of color at events. I listen to how people talk about people of color who are “difficult to work with” or Black women who “happen to be angry” or women of color in leadership who are “controlling”. I pay attention to these things and I choose to show up in a certain way. To be gracious and humble. To be witty and intellectual. To speak truth but wrap it in love so that it’s more palatable. Like most people of color, I live what W.E.B. DuBois called Double Consciousness everyday of my life. I know without a shadow of a doubt that there are at least two worlds that exist – the white world and the world of people of color. We have to translate language, social norms and behaviors in order to “fit in” and survive.

As details came out of Charleston last week, my heart shattered into a million pieces. At first it was simply because Black people were killed. Then it was because Black people were killed in their church home. Then it was because Black people were killed in their church home as they engaged in bible study and welcomed a stranger. Then it was because Black people were killed in their church home as they engaged in bible study and welcomed a stranger who was a white young adult. Then my world came crashing down around me as the news became public that the white young adult was a member of an ELCA congregation and that two of the people who were killed were graduates of an ELCA seminary.

It hit me like a ton of bricks: I am a part of a church that raises racist white people who then kill people of color who are educated in our institutions. That may seem like an oversimplification to some, but this truth broke what was left of my heart and I plunged into despair.

My thoughts began to swirl and I’ve literally had a headache for over a week.

I have been claiming a church as my own that’s not actually my church. My cultural practices and ways of being are not seen as authentically “Lutheran”.

I have been defending a church that has never repented of the systemic racism that is present within.

I have been leading within a church that is blind to it’s own white privilege and the ways that white supremacy work; that has a hard time actually naming racism as sin.

For the first time in my life, I felt like the church that I deeply love and has raised me was actually not my church.

As all of this was unfolding within me, I was scheduled to be at an event in an official role. I arrived to the event hanging on by a thread and being in a majority white community reminded me that as much as I want this to be my church with my people, that it’s not. During the opening worship of this event, I waited desperately to hear a word of lament; to share in communal grieving; to experience a moment of collective acknowledgement for what was going on in the world around us. I felt like the ground that I walk on had fundamentally shifted and that everyone around me was proceeding with business as usual.

In this moment, I posted my feelings on social media. I shared that I was at an event where we began with worship and I was looking at a shirt with the Palmetto Tree and Moon (images that are on the South Carolina state flag and license plates) and that it was ironic. Nothing was being said verbally about Charleston and worship went on without a mention, a moment of silence, a word. And it became clear that as much as I love my church and the people of my church, we can be so blinded by our inward focus and navel gazing that we miss crucial opportunities to actually show up.

This set off a bit of a firestorm. I later learned that my supervisor, who was also attending the event, was approached by leaders who were extremely upset by my post. The tension began to bubble up and I was set to address the group the next morning. When it was time for me address the community, I made mention to how I felt the night before and shared that I felt like, for the first time, this church wasn’t my church. I later found out that people felt personally attacked by my statements. I was called out for “being a public leader who should be careful about what she posts.” I was approached by a leader who said that they didn’t feel like Dylann Roof had accomplished his goal of creating a race war but that I made them feel like they were now in a race war due to my comments. I was told that I hurt the community deeply. I later found out that another person was asked to remove one of their tweets that was in response to one of my tweets and that “guests should be gracious in this space.”

I was told that I should give the community the benefit of the doubt because we are supposed to be allies. That I should wait to hear the community’s response to things at a later time in the event. That I didn’t understand how the community functioned. It was then intimated that we must not be in relationship because of what I’d done. This struck me because I never thought we weren’t in relationship. I thought that I was in a relationship that I could share how I was authentically feeling and that people would provide the space for that to happen.

It is inevitable that this post will cause more tension and conflict. But here’s one thing I know for sure – once you know the truth, it will set you free.

I am not in the business of hurting people. I am not in the business of being mean spirited or hateful. I am in the business of being authentically who I am and leading with truth and love. I shared my feelings and was then told that by doing so I disrupted a community. And I’m struggling with this. And you, dear shadow lovers, know what I do when I struggle. I write.

So this is my truth:

I am a Black woman called to leadership in a predominantly white church.

I will continue to call a thing a thing and speak truth.

I am not despairing because I know that many have gone before me who have endured much worse for much longer and kept the faith.

My hope does not reside in this church, it resides within the promises and power of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I still deeply love my church, in its varied expressions and with its varied strengths and its varied weaknesses.

In the midst of all of this, I can only think of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s words in his Letter From a Birmingham Jail:

“I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.”

I pray that as a collective body, as the church I desperately love, that we will continue to seek the truth so that we can all experience liberation and abundant life.

Love,

Me

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94 thoughts on “The Truth Shall Set You Free

  1. Kathy Khang says:

    Thank you for this. Thank you for welcoming us into a sacred space.

    • HolyRoze says:

      Thank you for your voice, wisdom and leadership my sister!

      • Nancy Peterson says:

        Having been a leader in the ELCA church for most of my life, I no longer attend an institution called “church” for some of the reasons expressed in your beautiful post. I have given up on it after we have kicked Jesus out of the church, in small ways and in gigantic ways.

  2. Casey Cross says:

    “I never thought we weren’t in relationship. I thought that I was in a relationship that I could share how I was authentically feeling and that people would provide the space for that to happen”
    By responding in the way they did, these people proved that they were the ones who weren’t in the relationship. We are LUCKY and BLESSED by our relationship with you. You are called. Keep claiming that and living it. God is with you.

  3. mackenzian says:

    So well done. We are in relationship and see our churches through eyes of love — and that is why we speak and why it makes no sense to be silent.

    Courage through the pushback.

  4. Andrena says:

    Thank you Rozella! I too am moved to express “my” own truth in how this church is perceived through my lens. I give thanks for your post, as it is an affirmation that I need to free myself of some hurts this church has employed upon me. You are respected, you are heard, you are free! I hope you know that you always have a support in me (even tho we do not keep in contact)
    Keep your head held high, and continue to walk in power and truth. God bless this writing and you. 🙏🏾

  5. Gregg Knepp says:

    Your words are simultaneously a prophetic call and a blessing to the church. Thank you for allowing yourself to be a true vessel of God and for sharing and speaking the Gospel in such a profound way!

  6. Oh Rozella! I am so so so so sorry for how misguided and mean some people can be! You are a beautiful child of God, made in God’s image. One of your gifts is your ability to keep reminding us all that we are sisters and brothers in Christ, called to be present to one another’s hope and pain. I hear your struggle, and weep with you for a church that misses again and again showing one another the hospitality that Christ shows all of us. I encourage you to keep on challenging us, and promise to have your back.

  7. Thank you for your courage, and for reminding us that moderates’ inertia is anything but neutral in its effects.

  8. Jim Watson says:

    I join you in your prayer for our church, and I thank you for writing this! You are making a contribution toward white church members becoming more aware of racism’s power and effects, which is what can lead to their commitment to the hard work of repentance and systemic change. I’m glad you can still call this your church, and even more importantly, Christ’s church. Please keep speaking truth, and with the love and grace of Christ, it will help bring the change that’s needed.

  9. Kari Foss says:

    I’m sorry. Thank you for your words. I’m glad you’re one of us.

  10. Bonnie Wilcox says:

    Words that convict are rarely welcomed.
    But many of us are listening, feeling convicted, and committed to stand up.

  11. For real though? When you said the “started a war” thing, I totally thought you/they meant an interdepartmental war, not race war. I’m impressed by how calmly you sat there. I also thought your comments were a totally appropriate – necessary even – explanation of your crappy day, your disappointment, hurt, etc. I could talk all day about all of my thoughts and the (often disappointing) convos I had with my colleagues, but I’ll just say I am glad you were there and I hope you come back.

  12. Thank you for your honesty. I lament that such places still exist and are totally clueless. I lament that there are leaders who are silent. But I am grateful for your words that are a call in the wilderness to prepare the way of the Lord.

    You are a blessing. Please know there were many congregations who did offer silence, prayers, candlelighting and laying on of hands who are ELCA Lutheran and that included our small one in the mountains of NH.

    Prayers for all who grieve, who work for justice, and for those who are discouraged, because our hope is in the Lord who will strengthen us, and raise us up to new life. Thanks be to God that we are not in this alone.

  13. Lara Martin says:

    Thank you Rozella for your courage to speak this truth, that we so desperately need to hear. You are a true gift to this church! Don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise!

  14. Brenda Martin says:

    Thank you for sharing this thoughtful reflection based on your painful experience. We need you to lead us. We need you to teach us. We need you to show us the sin that has been a part of us for far too long, so that we may finally join our cries and our voices and our hearts with yours. I can never know your experience, but I can raise my voice along with yours in the hope that you never have to experience it again. Blessings to you, my sister in Christ and child of God.

  15. Guy Erwin says:

    I am grateful for the chance to listen to you. Thank you.

  16. nancykraft52 says:

    Thank you. I have been crying for 10 days. There are so many reasons for that. You have articulated your lament so well. I’m still working on mine as a white ELCA pastor who carries a racism deep within me that I have been quick to deny for most of my life. It scares me. But I’m trying to face it. I needed to read about your experience. Thank you for your honesty, your courage and your love.

  17. Morgan Gordy says:

    Thank you for your words even though they made my heart hurt. I am sorry for what you have had to endure but am grateful that you are willing to share it. I believe the church will be uncomfortable until all God’s children are comfortable. There is healing in that Holy discomfort. Silence is deadly. We need honest voices to bring out where we fail to love. God’s love and peace.

  18. Nate Sutton says:

    Amen.

  19. Anne says:

    I am so sorry. I want to show my love to all my fellow Lutherans and humankind in general, yet I know I fall short all too often. Please know that, although we have never met, I love you. I love you in my expressions to all my fellow Lutheran brothers and sisters, no matter what their color may be. When I fail, please forgive me. I will do better, with the help of God. Thank you for your blog.

  20. Inez says:

    Amen. Yes, I know. Yes, I understand. I have tried to t/reach this church about its White privilege for decades. You are in my prayers–you have been for a while now.

    What many if not most White ELCA Lutherans do not understand is that our (people of color in leadership roles within the institution) being present within this denomination is *not* an endorsement of how this church presents or communicates its privilege.

    May you be blessed!

  21. Megan Morrow says:

    Oh my heart aches because you do speak truth. A vital and important truth. And I am so sorry for the hurt we cause. I thank God for you and ask for God’s help in repenting.

  22. Audrey Pedersen says:

    I am deeply moved by your honest expression of your feelings. I can’t imagine how it felt to be the guilty one because you dare speak your truth. But know that in Southport NC there was truth spoken in the pulpit on Sunday and prayers that went forth for our sisters and brothers. Thank you for your honesty. We need you.

  23. Aaron Decker says:

    I wouldn’t blame you if you turned your back on this ELCA we share. We are terrifically bad at dismantling racism in our own hearts, let alone responding to our Baptismal call to do justice in the world. I’m so sorry for the ways we white folks keep hurting you and others like you. Thank you for staying with this church, for having the courage to keep going, to keep speaking truth to power, and to keep seeking out God’s grace in the midst of human foolishness.

    Rev. Aaron Decker, Immanuel and Christ Lutheran Churches, Central MA

  24. Rozella,
    I have been appreciating your insights on other topics for a while now, as a member of the Practice Discipleship team in the Saint Paul Area Synod. Thank you for these words, for this honesty, for daring bravely, for showing up. We are privileged also by your presence with us, and your not giving up on us yet. Please keep telling your truth, sharing your love, afflicting the comfortable, and sharing Good news!
    in God’s grasp, as y’all are, Mary Kaye Ashley

  25. Thalia Woodworth says:

    Thanks be to God you are who you are.

  26. The Rev Fred Melton says:

    Pastor Fred Melton says: Thank you for your honest and raw truths. As a white pastor who has served both in majority African American communities and and in virtually all white communities, I know that I personally have so much more to learn. We, especially as white Lutherans in a global, multi-cultural world. I too am sorry for our shallow racism, and acknowledge know that all of us are part of both the problem, and the opportunity to stand up, repent, and work with our African American, Asian, Hispanic, other sisters and brothers in reflecting more faithfully the inclusive love of God in Christ. Also, we are humbly blessed to have you in this imperfect ELCA.

  27. Jocelynn Hughes says:

    Oh Rozella, I am so sorry. I missed most of the opening worship but heard others express shock and dismay that absolutely nothing was said about Charleston. It should have been a safe space for you to speak the truth, and it should have been accepted by your colleagues with repentance and seeking reconciliation – especially since we are called to be instruments of healing on campus. We know better and should have done better by you. I wish I had understood what was going on at the time. Thank you for sharing the truth here. Your voice and your ministry are crucial. We have much to learn and need to repent for so much.

  28. lutheranjulia says:

    As your colleague in this denomination, I am grateful for your witness. I am deeply sorry for the monumental effort it takes to reveal truth to hearts that do not believe they are hardened. I want to say something here that is not trite, but it all sounds hollow. I am so sorry. You were not wrong about what you were seeing, perceiving, or feeling. Your efforts to live into your baptismal vows are a testament to your spirit and the Spirit in you.

  29. Denise Rector says:

    Thank you.

    Many people are thanking you for telling your truth. I am thanking you for telling OUR truth. This is our truth as a church, and we need to own that if things are going to change.

    My stomach is in knots about becoming a leader in this church.

    You shouldn’t have to shoulder the burden of “showing us ourselves” while in the midst of your own grief over Charleston.

  30. Rev. Richard Adams says:

    I cannot pretend to know all you feel; I can only apologize for my own contributions to the issue(s). I have appreciated your post. I want you to know that felt the same hurt when I learned of the ELCA connections of the shooter & victims, and was compelled to address the deep wound of racism we all endure. It was an emotional sermon: confession, repentance, call for new behaviors. I pray it is the beginning of much needed change. God grant you peace in His service.

  31. […] The Truth Shall Set You Free.  This is an article by the Rev. Rozella White.  I don’t know her but I truly admire her. […]

  32. Chuck says:

    Thank you for being a truth teller. As a white, male clergy person in the ELCA, I seldom, if ever, have to face the type and frequency of bias and prejudice that you do. Your post has inspired me to speak out, even when I am afraid to do so and even when it is not “popular” to do so. Blessings on your ministry.

  33. RevEverett says:

    I grieve the extra suffering that institutional leaders foisted on you. I am so sorry. Thank you, thank you for speaking this truth, even when the church sticks its fingers in its ears. I am grateful.

  34. Love your blog, and this entry really hit home with me. I have been raised in the Lutheran faith ( ELCA), and am currently attending seminary part time for my MACM degree. I am a professional woman ( doctor) with my own practice, and have lived through decades of discrimination in a male dominated profession, which is getting only slightly better as I age, as more young women become doctors. I can only imagine the extra burden and duplicity of being black in this predominantly white denomination. I pray you keep the faith and continue to voice your truths. The discomfort you give the establishment is what we need to grow to be better disciples of Christ Jesus. Some people will not change, and the changes will take more time than they should, but the tiny mustard seeds that the Holy Spirit is helping you to plant in this sometimes rock hard soil will take root and grow. I have already seen this direction taking hold, and hope you do soon. This Charleston crisis is an important wake- up call, opening wounds we thought long healed. The reaction you have bourn is unacceptable. The Lutheran Church needs to address, talk about it, and react with the Grace and love we aspouce to you and all our brethren of color. I grieve for Charleston, the church and you, and pray for reconciliation and peace. You keep pushing that envelope as you feel able and help us to grow, change, be better Christians by our love.

  35. Pastor Paul Simmons says:

    Thank you for including Dr. King’s letter from the Birmingham jail. It is accurate and true to this day (and probably for some time to come). It is an indictment of me and probably the whole ELCA. Needed to see it. Need to think on it – for quite some time. For the sake of the church we both love, please stay with us.

  36. Amy B. says:

    Thank you, sister in Christ, for this beautiful, heartbreaking, and inspiring post. You have moved me greatly and I will carry your words in my heart as we continue to walk towards a more loving, Christlike future. Peace and truth be with you.

  37. Kristen Van Stee says:

    May God forgive me and everyone else who has inherited white privilege but refuses to acknowledge it. I will be humbly praying for insight this week. May the Holy Spirit inspire us all to Gospel speech and Gospel action in the name of Christ.

  38. Erik Karas says:

    It hurt so much to learn that pastors who took the same classes from the same professors and worshiped in the same chapel in the same seminary as I did were killed by a terrorist alongside their members in their church. In a video of Clem, I recognized the same binders on the bookshelf behind him that are on my shelves. It hurt again in a different way to learn that the terrorist was a member of a Lutheran church. When have I failed to confront that kind of hate in my church? When have I let something go and thereby given my tacit approval? It hurt again to learn that your search for compassion, care, acknowledgement and justice among our own was not only ignored but cruelly rejected. Our church all too often insists on quiet over justice. It all too often rewards those who don’t make waves and cuts off the careers of those who seek justice. I am sorry for my part in the institutional racism of our church and I commit myself again to better. Please don’t ever stop working for justice. You are one of the leaders I need to remain strong in facing my own part in a sinful system and leading others to work for God’s Kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven.

  39. […] you can, please read my colleague Rozella Haydée White‘s recent blog post: The Truth Shall Set You Free, and come ready to talk about the implications that her writing has on our […]

  40. Anna Joy Brown says:

    Well said and authentic. You’re not alone – and while a woman, I’m not a leader, black, or a Lutherin, everything you’ve written resonates as truth for me. Yours may be a bourning cry. I know what you said needs to be said, that the need for changes you identified are justified and real (and not limited to Lutherans, women, or any particular race), and that your thoughts are liberating and illuminating – you shine a light by which all of us can see further and move farther than we could before. Whether you like it or not, you’re a needed change agent who puts faith into action. Stay strong. With God. Thank you.

  41. Karen says:

    Thank you for your honest expression. I grieve with you. I see the Charleston shootings as a ‘family issue’ – a child of our Church killed leaders trained by our Church. Racism doesn’t fall into the ‘free to think and do as your social conscious dictates.’ As a church we are called to act not just talk about social justice. We must feed, clothe, water, visit and most importantly comfort our neighbor NOT tell her she is not hungry, cold, thirsty, lonely or GRIEVING. We must embrace our confessions to truly appreciate GRACE. I want to be part of the solution. I want to change the culture of hatred. We have all waited too long for ‘justice for all’. I want to be a protester for justice not simply handing out water bottles and sandwiches to advocates. Christ’s peace sister. Christians need your honesty not your polite patience. I grieve with you. I want a better today, tomorrow and forever for all my brothers and sisters. Amen

  42. cferriter says:

    Thank you for sharing your truth. I was raised in the ELCA and did not know about the connection between the Charleston shooting and the ELCA. I hope that your community (and indeed, our whole country) continues to progress toward greater acceptance of others’ experience, even when it isn’t what we want to hear and makes us uncomfortable to confront.

  43. Diane Roth says:

    thank you, thank you, thank you, for sharing this, for telling the truth.

  44. tkfertig says:

    Hugs to you. I’m sorry. Growth is often awkward, uncomfortable, painful. People’s first reactions are often defensive – and wrong. There are many changes and challenges happening in our world right now that will require all of us to patiently wait for some people to come to understanding. Give it to God and forgive, forgive, forgive. You will be blessed in the end. Remain authentic and stay determined to love.

  45. […] say that it wasn’t the right time, or it wasn’t the purpose of our gathering, but if when we gather as a group we remain silent about the pain our black brothers and sisters are in, we are perpetuating structural […]

  46. Zidders Roofurry says:

    I’m not a member of your church (or of any) but despite my not being religious I admire your courage and heart. I appreciate you standing up for what you believe in and thereby helping me learn how to be a better human being to my fellow humans. I swear i’ll continue doing all I can to respect EVERYONE no matter who and treat them with kindness and dignity.

    I am more than willing to stand behind you and support you and help white folks like me recognize that we need to do more to respect EVERYone and treat them as equals.

  47. Matthew Boedecker says:

    Ms. White, thank you for your honest feelings and thoughts. As a once ELCA pastor, and a white man, you are not in the wrong of your critique of many in the ELCA. Thankfully, there are many white males and others who get the racial sins of the ELCA, and have and are trying to make changes. It is a slow process of addressing racism in our denomination, and well all denominations, because, from my own experience, it means having to be vulnerable to a judgment, when you desire to not be judged as such. Ya, I can see the racist thoughts I have had, and am tempted to have, even though I never sought to be racist. A lot of this is because I operated from one perspective and did not have the opportunity to see and so know a different perspective. Once, I got that opportunity, and I remained open and vulnerable, I could address the racist aspects of my thinking. Again, this took hard work on my part, and that “difficulty” is why makes it hard for so many to change their perceptions in the ELCA. Lastly, I want to say, that Lutheran/Christian theology (Which in itself is complex) is different than the polity and social dynamics of the ELCA. There are plenty of members of the ELCA whose theology is not really “Lutheran.” Mr. Roof’s understanding of life and faith, obviously are not a Lutheran understanding. To be honest, I did not get Lutheran theology until I went to seminary. Only there did I finally hear the gospel clearly, even though I went to church nearly every Sunday before hand. So, I am not surprised by a child of the ELCA not getting and holding onto the theology of the Cross that Lutheran theology teaches. As you see, much hard work is to be done. So I say, as we hear at the end of worship, Go in peace and serve be the Lord. Thanks be to God.

  48. Susan Debner says:

    Add my name to the long (and ever growing) list of ELCA leaders who support you, thank you and want our broken yet beautiful church to do better by you, with you and for you.

  49. Peggy says:

    As a member of this church, I am so sorry that others have said and done things like you have shared. We need all people to be able to express ideas like yours, truth from their heart. Our church has many who have closed hearts, but remember there are many whose hearts are open. Stay strong, you have an important message!

  50. You are Awesome. I’m confident eventually you will hear the words; “Well done, my good and faithful servant” from God.

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