Held by the Gospel

I DEEPLY CONNECTED with "All Together Now!" and the other articles on the richness of ecumenical participation. They a caused me to reflect on my upbringing in the Presbyterian Church and my present life as member of a small Catholic religious order, The Little Brothers of the Gospel.

I discovered a profound calling through the Presbyterian Church. As a youth, I was involved in very active high school and college groups. We were always going somewhere—to work on a farm in Washington that emphasized stewardship of the Earth through the use of organic farming methods, to the inner city of Oakland, California, to help with a day camp for kids, to Mississippi to experience an integrated model of community and ministry. It was in the latter, in the deep South, that three aspects of the gospel—prayer, outreach, and community—grabbed me and never let go.

Now, 20 years later, as a Little Brother, I recall my adult life of two years working on an agricultural cooperative in Venezuela, eight years living with indigenous groups in southern Mexico, and presently in inner-city New York working with kids.

Some time ago, I met an old fundamentalist friend. We shared a bit about our lives, then he asked me, "But why did you change religions?" He had a hurt look on his face. I put a hand on his shoulder, saying, "I haven’t changed religions. God has called me through the voice of different traditions, all of which I love very much, to live the gospel of Jesus Christ!"

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