Some of us may not have even been born, others were still very young and all of us were much younger than we are now! On that night a small group of Christians first met, a group of mainly gay men, and so the journey of Northern Lights MCC began. I’m sure many hurdles have been faced and overcome in the last 25 years.
We owe a large debt of gratitude to those who first wanted to start a church for the LGBT+ communities in Newcastle, which then brought in people from across the North East. Without those first few courageous souls who stepped out into the unknown we would not be here to meet. It was them who allow us today to find a warm and welcoming home where we can be ourselves, where we can find friendship and know Gods never ending love for us just as we are.
I am reminded of the first disciples who left everything behind when Jesus asked them to leave their lives behind and follow him. They didn’t have a clue what was in store for them and what a journey it would be. They certainly had their share of ups and downs along with some confusing times and parables that they didn’t understand. But again without them we wouldn’t be here today because we wouldn’t have heard the message of Jesus and how much he loves us.
It seems to me that there are a number of things that the early disciples and those who met 25 years ago have in common. Both groups stepped out in faith into the unknown. Both groups wanted to share the great love of God for everyone. Both groups stepped into what might have been a hostile world not knowing what the reaction would be or how many people’s lives they would touch in the coming years. But for me the most important thing is that both groups felt the prompting of the Holy Spirit on their lives, listened to it and took action.
Little did those siblings of ours know 25 years ago that all these years later we would continue to provide a safe space in which we can grow in our relationship with God, know how much God loves us and in turn continue to share the message that God’s love is available to everyone, not matter their gender, sex or sexuality!