This week, Matt shares the impact The Hearth has had on him and his family. Matt’s story truly emphasizes The Hearth’s mission to make space to affirm the divine in all through intentional community. We are so grateful to have him and his family in our community. ~Kaylee
The Hearth has grown to be a place where not only can I worship God and experience fellowship with others in the community but also a place of healing. Since moving to Florida, I had become disheartened at not finding a community that was welcoming and affirming. Then through circumstances, I found myself sitting at the bar and having a beer at Castle Church Brewing (the former home of The Hearth). The calendar listed a “PRIDE'' night which piqued my interest because my children were in the process of self discovery and questioning. Every church we had visited had the stereotypical answer that always left our family on the outside and never fully a part of the community. But this was different. This place offered not only a place where my kids could explore who they are without judgment, but where they were supported and encouraged to be themselves.
The support and love from the community has been amazing! The past few years have been tumultuous but the community has stayed strong. I was welcomed into a group to play DnD (Dungeons and Dragons). The game was good, and joining friends for a beer and late night of gaming helped us grow together. That group is just one of the examples of community that continues to draw me to The Hearth. I struggle to describe the impact on my life the various small group studies and retreats have had on my life and my spiritual growth.
The Hearth is not a “novelty church”. It’s not a gimmick to try to get people in the door. It is truly a place where all are welcomed and invited to worship together. A place where my family and I are welcomed. It is a place filled with people who are willing to admit their own brokenness in order to grow together.
Cheers and Peace,