I arrived in Portland, Oregon yesterday (with my bag containing my costumes trailing behind me but eventually showing up). I adore being in Portland, and it is not just the coffee. I arrived at the airport and Jim, from the Anawim community picked me up. This is a group of gay Christian men who have met together every Thursday night for years so that they can share a meal, discuss the scripture and then spend time in silent prayer holding up each others concerns and joys.
I made it just in time for their once every month gathering where all three of the Anawim groups that normally meet separately around the city get together for a big meal, prayer and communion. They even provided me vegan fare!
What I appreciate about this group is seeing the genuine love in action among them. One of the brothers, after three years of sobriety, slipped back into a drug habit. After an intervention, the brother elected to go into treatment. In the meantime he had lost his job and is in about to get evicted from his home. One of the men in the group explained the situation and that they needed to find a place to store the brother’s things and needed a group to help move all his stuff. Hands shot up immediately. The moving party will gather first thing Saturday morning. Then they went into prayer for the brother and his recovery. Such a solid loving community that does the work.
Whenever I stay in Portland my hosts are Doug and Bruce, a delightful gay couple who take it upon themselves to “release me for ministry” as we sometimes say in Quaker circles. They make it so that when I am here, I do not have to worry about anything. They give me bus passes, access to the Internet, and all my favorite foods. A big pot of sweet brown rice with all the fixings for my favorite sauce stood waiting to greet me. They even get me vegan junk food!
Today I head off to the Transforming Faith conference where I will meet loads of awesome people and learn tons of stuff. I wish I could blog more, but I have to dash. So far this spring tour has been so much fun and an opportunity to meet some amazing people and reconnect with friends (and Friends). I am still glowing from my recent trips to James Madison University and the University of IL in Champaign Urbana. (a special hello to my stealth blog reader who is mixing up a potion in the lab even as we speak 🙂