Languages: English and French
About a week before Christmas in 2016, I found myself—strangely enough—in a Catholic Church. Now, anyone who knows me even vaguely knows that this is quite the strange place to find me. A staunch atheist and empiricist, I am pretty much the last person that you would expect to find in a church. Indeed, I was a bit confused about why I was there myself.
You see, about six years ago, my mother died on Christmas Eve and as a result, this time of year has always been difficult for me. Since she died, though, I always had a tendency to find myself in a church for Christmas Eve. This seeking of spiritual solace struck me as being extraordinarily symbolic to me in that regard, but nothing out of the ordinary. Recently, though, I have felt a need for this type of thing more than ever.
With recent events around the world, and also those in my own personal life, I found myself looking for a community to call my own; a community that is based in mutual respect, acceptance, growth, and shared values. I found myself consumed; I was searching for a community that would grant me these things in a loving, respectful, and caring atmosphere.
I truly discovered what I was looking for in the Unitarian Church of Montreal. In so little time, this community allowed me the space to grow and develop as a person, all while fostering a sense of true community that I have never felt before from a spiritual congregation. I found a community that saw the best in me and willingly allowed me to take on leadership roles, even as a relatively new member.
I am proud to say that I am a member of a congregation that is constantly striving towards greater inclusivity; I am an active participant in a community whose values, actions, and beliefs are actively working towards changing the world for the better, and I could not be happier that I stumbled across this community on that fateful Yule evening.
Vincent is a Black, queer, and trans community organizer, educator, and activist. They use the pronouns they/them in English, and il/lui in French.