I first walked through the doors of People’s Church about 6 years ago, after a long and uncharacteristic absence from church-going. I was definitely a seeker at that point. For I had spent much of my adult life in anger about organized religion, about my perception of a particular religion that had let me down, and even betrayed me. It was an anger that was understandable, and certainly justified, but an anger that was no longer serving me.
So on a cold December morning, at the height of the holiday season, I sat through my first service at People’s church and literally wept. I remembered what it was I was longing for—that sense of connectedness, that sense of hopefulness, the experience of looking out at the world with a group of people and feeling like we are all seeing a similar thing.
And here was a church that did this in a remarkable way. I didn’t have to check my brain at the door, that’s true. But nor did I have to check my heart, nor my sense of wonder, nor my sense of being part of a world much bigger than myself. Here was a church that wasn’t trying to separate me from the realities of the world, but actually reminded me of just how connected we all are, and why everything we do really does matter.
I believe that most humans, perhaps all of us, are seekers of one sort or another, just as I was the first day I came to People’s. Sometimes the seeking calls us to something out there, mysterious and omnipotent. Sometimes the seeking leads us to look inside for our truth and our direction. And sometimes the seeking just makes us lift up our gaze and look around, to the people we love, to the people we share this space with, to the place that we call our religious home—the one that welcomes us in.
So the inspiration for a song like People of Hope was easy to find. It’s the same inspiration that I feel at People’s every day. It’s the reason I give of myself, and my financial resources, to this great church.
Because the world needs more churches like this, and it needs more people like you.
So thank you, for all that you do, and all that you give.
Watch People of Hope at the People’s Church Building Project ground-breaking ceremony (with special guest Peter Mayer) in September 2011. Sing along with the video with the People of Hope Lyrics.