By David Goodwin
Anna Redsand shared passages from her memoir, To Drink From the Silver Cup, yesterday in the Buchanan Lounge. The book details the story of her life, integrating spirituality practices and theological revelations while journeying through the experiences of being lesbian amidst conservative mission communities in the southwest US.
The stories included family expectations, hiding identity, finding healing in spirituality, returning to communion, and embracing herself in tension with the faith community that raised her. The stories were touching and honest, mixed with sadness and grace. After forty years away from the church, she eventually returns, testing the water congregation by congregation.
“The church had discarded me,” Anna read. “The church had excommunicated me.” She described the return despite this, as not about grace, but need. Eventually her brother’s son came out and married his partner. To her relief, some of her family attended the wedding. Anna described the event as healing more than she could have ever expected.
The text was also instructional, telling of how churches should provide welcome and acceptance, as well as how they shouldn’t. In the end, unconditional welcome is what drew her back into the church, a welcoming hopefully McCormick can embody to bring her back again.