Many gathered the week of Jan 13-15, 2017 in Portland Oregon for a two-day conference focused on honoring the uniqueness of the lives and the choices of every member of the Affirmation family, in or out of the Church. Wherever our individual paths lead us, Affirmation is committed to the Zion-like quality of being ‘of one heart.’ Hence the title “Many Paths, One Heart.” Re-live the messages shared or watch for the first time.
Jesus turned everything upside down. No sorting of people into social bins. Jesus ignored the social norms that spell out the who, when and what of the Kingdom. The Kingdom is full of surprises. The first shall be last. All are invited, the clean and the unclean. All are loved. All persons are of worth: free and slave, women and men. Everything is upside down and no one is excluded from the Kingdom as unworthy.
We need to recognize that what is strengthening to different people may be different. We need to foster self care and healing, finding our sources of spiritual strength — whatever those may be — and learning to accept ourselves.
I am recently returned to church activity, and at times I’ve wondered whether there is a place for me among Affirmation’s brilliant collection of voices, lives, and experiences. Over the course of the Millennials Retreat, I felt a powerful new sense of belonging. Affirmation is for me, too.
I was able to arm myself with some tools to tackle some of the hard things I am dealing with thanks to the wonderful people I was able to meet and hear speak.
A recording of Salt Lake City’s June 22nd Affirmation FHE, “Finding our Spiritual Footing,” is provided here by the Affirmation Podcast.
For many of us this was a completely unexpected journey we embarked upon when our children came out; one with a steep learning curve that has put us through the classic stages of grieving and brought us into the light of unconditional love and unequivocal acceptance of these children with a core identity different from our own.
There is power in embracing the fullness of who we are, body, mind and spirit. And we get energy from each other, from sharing visions, ideas and energy.
Affirmation is sponsoring a number of gratitude and service gatherings to be held during November.