by Reverend Wayne Walder
I have learned the expression “Coming Out” was coined in the Southern United States when a young woman “Came Out” to her community as a debutante. Now, of course, “coming out” means coming out of the closet about your sexuality. It is an expression showing that our sexuality can be made public and we no longer need to hide it. We are “Coming Out of the Closet”, of shame, fear and hiding.
The expression has grown beyond the LGBT community too. I have heard it used to legitimize creativity and power. People say they are coming out of their limitations as they move toward a new idea of themselves.
We wanted to use this provocative expression as a theme for June. It is the last month of our yearly theme, “Search for Meaning”, and we wondered if you have ever felt like you were coming out.
Are you coming out as a spiritual person in a secular culture? Are you displaying more confidence in your perceptions and your presence? Are you able to handle conflict more easily? Are you coming out as ill or as healed? And there are many more questions like these.
Recently, three people took me aside to share something they learned in our congregation. They also told me how that affected the people around them. They were using what they learned and it was affecting the world. They were better able to lead meetings, better able to talk about spirituality and better able to listen. They were coming out … of their doubt, their fear and their liberal confusion.
This month, as the weather warms up, ask yourself if you have learned something at Neighbourhood. Maybe it was a skill you use every day, or maybe it is a confidence in yourself or the people around you. When we grow as individuals our growth does not stay with us. It affects others. Without knowing it our growth comes out to help build the common good.
Tell us stories about coming out in whatever way you see it. Please speak to Margaret Hazlewood, Wayne Walder or our Sunday Service leaders, Gordon Thorne and Moira MacDonald, so we can use your stories at our June 12th service.