Crave is an adventure for the spiritually curious, and in November we explored the ways that each of us hasn’t quite fit into the spiritual boxes that exist in our world. It started as we were reflecting on the people, communities and moments that have shaped who we are. For me, I’ve been through quite a few communities of faith in my life. I grew up in a Catholic family, going to Catholic school and attending Mass faithfully every Sunday. Then in middle school I went to a Southern Baptist youth group and attended Sunday school and Sunday service religiously. As I attempted to mold myself into these spiritual boxes, a feeling of discontent persisted. I never really fit. I had a lot of questions; I was quite a bit more femme than the average boy; and the rules and rituals never quite made sense to me.
I have always felt a profound connection with the divine, even through my experiences of not quite fitting into religions. The consistent connection is, after all, what continues to motivate me in the work I get to do in the community. The divine connection has just changed over time, but I hadn’t realized any of this until I was asked to explore my spirituality in Crave. Through this self-discovery, I realized that it isn’t so much the idea of a God that I am discontent with. But, rather, I find great apprehension where philosophy and theology limit my ability to embrace myself or connect fully with folx from diverse backgrounds, that is the point where the religion boxes we have received become irrelevant to me.
It turns out that quite a few of us who are in Crave have come to a similar conclusion. We’ve had many, varied experiences with religion and none of those seemed to be quite relevant. So, we have begun this Crave journey; we are attempting to create this microcosm of a community where all our passions, motivations, beliefs and dreams can converge, however different they are, without one value or belief discounting another. This is the kind of community in which I have learn, I am able to thrive. Each of us come from different backgrounds, but we share a common desire to bring about good in our community. I think we each recognize that while we may have different beliefs, we can agree that to make a real, lasting, positive change in the world we must work together. Isn’t that cool? I think so.