This past Saturday, a group of friends and I got together for our first annual Friendsgiving. What I want you to know about this group of friends is that although we live in Philly, many of us connected at the Mystic Soul Conference earlier this year in Chicago. Many of us are Christian of some persuasion, and many of us also identify as queer people of color. We’ve since had film nights, spontaneous parties, and a beach trip together. When we get together we laugh, we listen to lots of 90s hip hop and R&B, we share chisme (gossip), and we break bread. We give each other life, especially when we’re feeling down and out. This crew demonstrates to me what showing up for each other looks like.
On Saturday, we are in a room in my friend Jessica’s house. One by one the crew begins to arrive. Friends of friends come. Kehlani and Biggie are playing on the stereo. There is comfort food: mac and cheese, rice and peas with pieces of smoked turkey, homemade applesauce, sweet potato pie, fried chicken, and a dulce de leche cheesecake (made by yours truly). And, of course, there are plenty of drinks, both boozy and non-boozy. Afterward we have a competition of minute-to-win-it games. My team loses (there’s always next year), but we have fun all night.
That night was a much needed sweet spot in a week that was filled with bad news. On Twitter I witnessed yet another “progressive” Christian leader proclaim that he loves the LGBTQ community while refusing to perform same-sex marriages. I read the statement of a bishop in my denomination (the Episcopal Church) claiming that LGBTQ people are in league with the devil and that the “Gay Rights Agenda” is destroying the church. My heart sank as I heard that someone had threatened violence against two different gay clubs here in Philadelphia. It was a shitty week, to say the very least. By the end of the week, I really needed to be with my people. Our first annual Friendsgiving really healed my soul and I hope it’s a tradition that we continue.
We all need community - most especially if you are a marginalized person - because literally none of us can live without each other. We need to be surrounded by people who love us, who build us up, who call us on our BS when we need it, who show up in the good and bad times, a group of people we can come home to. This is what we’re setting out to do with Our Bible. It’s more than just an app, more than a hub for progressive Christian content; it’s a home, for you, your partner, your friends, your family. Here you can bring all that you are to the table- each of us is bringing something different, just like my Friendsgiving meal. We’ll have fun. We’ll support each other through the difficult times and celebrate the good times. We’ll grow in faith together. Most importantly, we’ll be here for you.
-Ricky Cintron, Social Media Manager