"It was the summer of 2011, and three months earlier a bad thing and a couple of good things had happened" (Page 178)
Bad: HFASS was evicted from the church building they had been in for three years
Good: Nadia preached at Red Rocks and the Denver Post cover feature, with her picture, had been printed.
"This will change everything, I'd thought." (Page 179)
Up to this point HFASS rarely had more than 45 people show up on Sunday
"When I dreamed of my church growing, I dreamed of having seventy people at liturgy." (Page 179)
"The very next week after Easter -- after the Post and after Red Rocks -- our church doubled in size." (Page 180)
"But what we didn't realize was that they were going to stay, and that they wouldn't look like us."
"As the weeks progressed during the early summer, I found it increasingly more difficult to muster up a welcoming attitude toward a group of people who, unlike the rest of us, could walk into any mainline protestant church in town and see a room full of people who looked just like them." (Page 181)
"I called a meeting for the church to talk about the 'sudden growth and demographic changes.'" (Page 182)
"For the two weeks prior to the meeting, I had been engaged in a heated emotional battle, but now I felt calm." (Page 183)
"I had lost in what I felt like divine defeat. A few days before the meeting, I underwent what I can only describe as a heart transplant."
"A few days before the meeting, I had called my friend Russell who pastors a church in St. Paul with a similar story and demographic as HFASS." (Page 184)
"But Russell refused to play along, 'Yeah, that sucks,' he said sarcastically. 'You guys are really good at welcoming the stranger when it's a young transgender person. But sometimes the stranger looks like your mom and dad." (Page 184)
Russell was right.
"Then Asher spoke up. 'As the young transgender kid who was welcomed into this community, I just want to go on the record and say that I'm really glad there are people at church now who look like my mom and dad. Because I have a relationship with them that I just can't with my own mom and dad.'" (Page 185)
"Aaaaand heart transplant healed." (Page 186)
"Out of one corner of your eye there's a homeless guy serving communion to a corporate lawyer and out of the other corner is a teenage girl with pink hair holding the baby of a suburban soccer mom. And there I was a year ago fearing that the weirdness of our church as going to be diluted." (Page 187)