Finding a liberal 20-30-something community of faith

Julia Stroud in The Daily writes:

At 1 a.m. on a Sunday you can often find me at a bar. The bar varies, so does the reason: a friend’s departure, a birthday celebration, a long week at the office to forget. The drink rarely varies, however, and I will clutch my gin and ice and sip it through the straw, laughing with friends and planning my exit. I have to be at church in eight hours. Slurp, laugh, check the time. My friends’ nights are open-ended but I have to be at church in — I check the time again — seven hours now.

I do get a perverse thrill from declaring, as I put down my glass, “No, I can’t stay. I have to be at church in the morning,” and seeing my friends nod knowingly while people I’ve just met look shocked. “Are you kidding?” they ask. When I assure them I’m not, sometimes they say things like, “Good for you,” or “But you seem so normal.” Rarely do they add, “Can I come too?”


As a way to get over my penchant for sleeping in on Sunday mornings, several years ago I decided the perfect motivator would be to make friends at church. It seemed unlikely I would ever get my college or work friends to come along; one friend insists she will “turn to stone” if she ever enters a church. I had sporadically been attending St. Luke in the Fields, an Episcopal church in Manhattan. I loved the priests, two of whom were gay, two of whom were women; I loved the music and liturgy; I loved the liberal politics. But I had trouble seeing myself there. I saw young families and old gay men; I saw middle-aged couples with no children; I saw single retirees. But I was looking for peers in age and interests. That was where I expected to find friends.


Forming the group presented unexpected challenges: gay, straight, single, married, partnered, homeowner, renter, parent, adoptive parent — I was trying to organize a vastly disparate group who happened to be born within 20 years of each other.

To find out what she did read here.

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