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Sun Jan 19, 2020, 11:49 PM

I walked into a black church service today.

I spent 15 years as a funeral director, so I have been to almost every church in my community.

I haven't willingly been to church in over 20 years...

I am a southern woman in a rural part of a red state.

This morning, I took a back road into a community that I havent been to in a while.

I needed a god. Maybe i needed understanding or hope. Something to remind me of acceptance. Whatever the reason, I showed up late.

Late in a local black Baptist church.

In a community that had nazis march around our county courthouse. I was wearing jeans and a sweat shirt.

At funerals, I had seen some white folks at the services. I assumed that they were part of the congregation.

But today, when I opened the double doors into the sanctuary and sat on the back row, I was the only white person in a congregation of around 50.

The preacher was talking about love, and preaching about unity. I felt like I belonged. On a bench all to myself, I was a part of my community, of my brethren.

When the sermon concluded, women who were previously in their seats, stood up and headed my way.

I wasn't asked why I was there or what was wrong with me...or what sins I needed to pray about...

Three older women walked straight up to me, as I stood standing halfway down my own pew.

Before I could run, I found myself surrounded. I was scooped up in the arms of sisterhood. The arms of understanding, tolerance, and grace.

Did I interrupt a sermon? I am not especially religious, but did I help bring us together, or make it worse?

I am invited next Sunday and I plan on attending.

I'm not certain of my role in this galaxy, but I want to be on the side of kindness. I will update if you would like.

Thank you for reading this.

With love,

A red state rural woman. One trying to make a difference.





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Reply I walked into a black church service today. (Original post)
backtoblue Jan 2020 OP
raging moderate Jan 2020 #1
backtoblue Jan 2020 #3
FailureToCommunicate Jan 2020 #2
PatrickforO Jan 2020 #4
llmart Jan 2020 #21
PatrickforO Jan 2020 #22
keithbvadu2 Jan 2020 #5
Warpy Jan 2020 #6
summer_in_TX Jan 2020 #7
3catwoman3 Jan 2020 #8
calimary Jan 2020 #16
Journeyman Jan 2020 #9
nevergiveup Jan 2020 #10
sprinkleeninow Jan 2020 #11
Skittles Jan 2020 #12
fierywoman Jan 2020 #13
Laffy Kat Jan 2020 #14
vlyons Jan 2020 #15
GeoWilliam750 Jan 2020 #17
ancianita Jan 2020 #18
Richard D Jan 2020 #19
SWBTATTReg Jan 2020 #20
True Blue American Jan 2020 #28
SammyWinstonJack Jan 2020 #31
alwaysinasnit Jan 2020 #23
erronis Jan 2020 #24
BobTheSubgenius Jan 2020 #25
True Blue American Jan 2020 #26
underthematrix Jan 2020 #27
dewsgirl Jan 2020 #29
wryter2000 Jan 2020 #30
luvs2sing Jan 2020 #32
True Blue American Jan 2020 #36
luvs2sing Jan 2020 #37
True Blue American Jan 2020 #38
luvs2sing Jan 2020 #39
tiredtoo Jan 2020 #33
Karadeniz Jan 2020 #34
handmade34 Jan 2020 #35
Sierra89 Jan 2020 #40
KY_EnviroGuy Jan 2020 #41
Borchkins Jan 2020 #42

Response to backtoblue (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2020, 11:59 PM

1. That jibes with my experience with Black folks in church services.

As a white woman from Chicago, after many years spent living in rural white communities, I finally moved to an integrated community.
I also was overwhelmed by the grace, tolerance, and understanding of the Black people in their church services, and also in other settings. It is always good to hear about somebody else having the same experience. Thank you for writing this.

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Response to raging moderate (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 20, 2020, 12:10 AM

3. You are most welcome.

I figure we all have a role to play and I want my role to be on the good side.

I want my fellow DUers to know that even in the reddest of rural areas...there are some of us who want to build bridges.

We will overcome.

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Response to backtoblue (Original post)

Mon Jan 20, 2020, 12:10 AM

2. Thank you...for trying to make a difference.

Inspiring and so well said.

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Response to backtoblue (Original post)

Mon Jan 20, 2020, 12:15 AM

4. And that in spite of everything Black Americans have been through.

Hey, my wife texted me a story about the US Navy. Tomorrow, they will be announcing the the next new aircraft carrier we build will be named the Doris Miller.

I'll let you read about who Dorie Miller was here: https://www.npr.org/2020/01/19/797756016/u-s-navy-to-name-aircraft-carrier-after-wwii-hero-doris-miller

Fitting that the announcement will happen tommorow, on Martin Luther King day.

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Response to PatrickforO (Reply #4)

Mon Jan 20, 2020, 03:14 PM

21. There was an entire piece done about this on CBS Sunday morning yesterday.

Check it out if you can. It was beautiful.

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Response to llmart (Reply #21)

Mon Jan 20, 2020, 03:17 PM

22. Good! Will do. It IS beautiful.

The quotes from Dorie's family are excellent on the link I provided - basically it's about time. And it is about time.

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Response to backtoblue (Original post)

Mon Jan 20, 2020, 12:28 AM

5. Can't name it after Dubya because it only would only get underway when the drug tests are coming dow

Can't name it after Dubya because it only would only get underway when the drug tests are coming down the pier.

Can't name it after Trump because it would never get underway with bone spurs on the propellers.

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Response to backtoblue (Original post)

Mon Jan 20, 2020, 12:47 AM

6. Religion I grew up with was bitter and mournful.

I'm not religious. I identify as atheist because I think the chance of a deity worthy of the name turning up is beyond remote.

However, on Sunday morning, I'd always go home with kickass Gospel blasting on my car radio. It always made me feel better, no matter how exhausted and demoralized I was.

So on that level, I can relate to this post.Yes, there is a different energy. Megachurches have tried to copy it but have neglected the core message and have just gone for the drums. They're still bitter, just louder.

If you think that little church and its people have something to teach you, go back. It seems like you'll be welcome.

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Response to backtoblue (Original post)

Mon Jan 20, 2020, 01:01 AM

7. Sounds like you found the right kind of church.

One full of love and acceptance.

Thirty years ago I reluctantly accompanied my husband to a local Methodist church. Our sweet neighbor had invited him to just come try the choir.

I wasn't raised in church, both my folks had been but left for their own reasons. And I was so prejudiced against those "narrow-minded, judgmental Christians," that I insisted on having a friend who loved us ordained in a mail order church to perform the wedding.

Since I thought (and still think) highly of his songwriting and singing, I went with him. I was ready to fend of any attempt to convert me or change me in any way. But none of that happened. They were warm and accepting. Still are. And I'm still going. When you find those who know that they basically have one job assignment from God, to love, then you've found a good spot.

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Response to backtoblue (Original post)

Mon Jan 20, 2020, 01:02 AM

8. I would be very interested in hearing...

...more about this exploration.

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Reply #8)

Mon Jan 20, 2020, 02:55 AM

16. I would, too.

What a wonderful story, backtoblue! THANK YOU for sharing such a beautiful experience.

So reaffirming, and so desperately needed at a time when this country seems more bitterly divided than I can ever remember.

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Response to backtoblue (Original post)

Mon Jan 20, 2020, 01:08 AM

9. What a wonderful sentiment . . .

I'm not certain of my role in this galaxy, but I want to be on the side of kindness.

Echoes of Kurt Vonnegut's advice to newly-born babes:

ďHello babies. Welcome to Earth. It's hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It's round and wet and crowded. On the outside, babies, you've got a hundred years here. There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- "God damn it, you've got to be kind.Ē

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Response to backtoblue (Original post)

Mon Jan 20, 2020, 01:15 AM

10. Been there, done that.

It was in the 1960's and I was in my early 20's. I am now 75. I too, sat in the back of the church and I was very anxious if not down right scared. After the service I was treated with so much love. It was an experience that made me forever a better person.

Thanks so much for sharing your story. it gave me tears.

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Response to backtoblue (Original post)

Mon Jan 20, 2020, 01:26 AM

11. Moving experience. Grateful for the share. God Is Good. n/t

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Response to backtoblue (Original post)

Mon Jan 20, 2020, 01:27 AM

12. this is what I have always thought about black churches

(as an agnostic) I think if you really had faith, if you TRULY believed, you would REJOICE the way black folk do in church - you would not be all quiet and somber and fear God or use religion as a threat

yes indeed

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Response to backtoblue (Original post)

Mon Jan 20, 2020, 01:40 AM

13. Your words are deeply moving (and the words of the comments above mine.) PLEASE continue to

write.

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Response to backtoblue (Original post)

Mon Jan 20, 2020, 01:48 AM

14. I can remember being in New Orleans on a Sunday morning..

And standing right outside of a black church listening to the choir. I'm an atheist and yet the music moves me like nothing else.

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Response to backtoblue (Original post)

Mon Jan 20, 2020, 02:13 AM

15. As a Buddhist, the question that I keep asking

Is why isn't it enough to just be a good person? You experienced the loving kindness of good people. All of us, every single one of us wants to be happy and to not suffer. I hope you go back to that church, but don't be late and dress more respectfully.

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Response to backtoblue (Original post)

Mon Jan 20, 2020, 07:53 AM

17. Hoping that you find kindness, compassion, solace, peace, and love

As though anything else actually mattered

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Response to backtoblue (Original post)

Mon Jan 20, 2020, 01:44 PM

18. Truly touching, thank you for this. (wipes eyes)

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Response to backtoblue (Original post)

Mon Jan 20, 2020, 02:35 PM

19. You warmed my heart

Thank you.

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Response to backtoblue (Original post)

Mon Jan 20, 2020, 02:50 PM

20. Thanks for sharing this story. If only more would be so open, so willing to open their hearts, ...

the world would be in a better place. To me, with you sharing this story, it already is a better place. Thanks.

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Response to SWBTATTReg (Reply #20)

Mon Jan 20, 2020, 03:50 PM

28. Aren't the Democratic candidates

Doing that today?

Where is Trump?

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Response to True Blue American (Reply #28)

Mon Jan 20, 2020, 04:23 PM

31. Where is trump? Shit stirring, promoting hate and discontent, causing

much pain and suffering and hosting bigly pity parties with his Deplorables in attendance.

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Response to backtoblue (Original post)

Mon Jan 20, 2020, 03:23 PM

23. What an awesome post! I hope you are feeling better and stronger. Your post is very inspiring.

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Response to backtoblue (Original post)

Mon Jan 20, 2020, 03:24 PM

24. So beautiful. It warms my heart during these cold times. We should all reach out across divides

and try to connect, just like you.

I'll acknowledge that some connections are harder than others. And some of their hearts are hard and unchangeable.

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Response to backtoblue (Original post)

Mon Jan 20, 2020, 03:43 PM

25. What a wonderful anecdote and an inspiring story.

Much love to you and your sisters!

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Response to backtoblue (Original post)

Mon Jan 20, 2020, 03:48 PM

26. That brought tears to my eyes!

Wonderful!

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Response to backtoblue (Original post)

Mon Jan 20, 2020, 03:50 PM

27. This is a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing.

Apparently you went looking for hope and found out you were not only the hope, you ARE the blessing too. And now you've blessed us.

Your African American sister in love and struggle.

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Response to backtoblue (Original post)

Mon Jan 20, 2020, 03:54 PM

29. That was touching. I am pretty desensitized as of late, that made me

tear up, I'm happy for you.

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Response to backtoblue (Original post)

Mon Jan 20, 2020, 04:19 PM

30. I would hope you'd find the same in my integrated church in Oakland

It's true that there are superficial churches and churches full of hellfire out there, but most of us are seeking peace, love, and connection with each other and the devine.

I'm openly agnostic, but I've held the highest lay position in the congregation. Frankly, I'd attend even if I were a confirmed atheist.

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Response to backtoblue (Original post)

Mon Jan 20, 2020, 04:26 PM

32. I have sung in several black churches

as part of mixed-race gospel groups, and those times are my favorite memories as a singer.

I would love to sometimes attend a black church, but Iíve always felt that church is the one place black people can go as a refuge from always having to deal with lily white people like me.

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Response to luvs2sing (Reply #32)

Mon Jan 20, 2020, 05:21 PM

36. Why?

When we have a black person come to our small Church we make sure they feel welcome.

My friends who just happen to be black would welcome me with open arms.

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Response to True Blue American (Reply #36)

Mon Jan 20, 2020, 05:23 PM

37. I'm talking in generalities.

I know I would be welcomed. Iíve been welcomed when Iíve sung at black churches. I am sensitive about not being intrusive.

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Response to luvs2sing (Reply #37)

Mon Jan 20, 2020, 06:35 PM

38. There is a difference between visiting

And intrusion. She visited,was welcomed with open arms.

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Response to True Blue American (Reply #38)

Mon Jan 20, 2020, 06:45 PM

39. Not sure why you think I'm criticizing the OP.

Nothing could be farther from the truth.

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Response to backtoblue (Original post)

Mon Jan 20, 2020, 04:37 PM

33. Good for you

And yes i would be very interested in an update. thanks.

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Response to backtoblue (Original post)

Mon Jan 20, 2020, 04:52 PM

34. Beautiful!❤ Keep going! God only knows souls...skin color doesn't make it to that level of spiritual

Progression...only soul and mind.

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Response to backtoblue (Original post)

Mon Jan 20, 2020, 05:21 PM

35. "I want to be on the side of kindness"

my soul aches for more kindness in this world... I am not entirely without it but we need much more...





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Response to backtoblue (Original post)

Mon Jan 20, 2020, 07:35 PM

40. We need more of this.

Thank you for sharing this, it truly touched me. Be blessed. Much Love!

&list=PL_ejXIzP7qOCGCodJyyRF_7GctAn0DUAW&index=8

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Response to backtoblue (Original post)

Tue Jan 21, 2020, 08:01 AM

41. Backtoblue, I think what you experienced was the beauty of community.....

which is something most all of us need in one form or another. Most of our old-fashioned elements of community have been destroyed by capitalism. Back in the 70s, I felt the warmth of community in the volunteer fire service after I moved from the country to a large urban area. Sadly, that old community fire department is now gone and so is the brotherhood.

During the late 70s, I spent quite a time on a service job in a Southern coastal state in the area called "low country" where extreme segregation and poverty abounds. During my Sunday for-fun road trips to see the sights, I would see black people dressed in their Sunday finest walking along the highways to their nearest African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) and services would go on for hours. Those churches ARE their community and the only escape from horrible racism.

Those churches were very small and it seemed there was one every mile. I'm now jealous that they have such a beautiful union of people that we sorely need in some form across the nation and I hope they're able to maintain what they have.

Please continue to report your visits. You are warming some hearts that really need it......

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Response to backtoblue (Original post)

Tue Jan 21, 2020, 09:08 AM

42. Tears

For the second time this morning I am moved to tears. Thanks, it feels cleansing.

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