Bearing witness prioritizes the experience of the person or group over the questions the listener might have. To bear witness is to see, hear, know and remember what has happened.
In the early years when my parents were healthy it was just the pain of parting; but in later years when they were older, when Parkinson’s had robbed my father of an enjoyable life, the fear was always that I wouldn’t see him again.
For many years I tried to conform to the heterosexual norm that seemed to be the only acceptable way of being in my world. The loneliness and despair I often felt were a burden I feared I might never be free of.
To my family, there was nothing more evil, more beyond the power of God’s love, than being gay. As my dad would write in the PCC chat rooms, gay was a choice you made after rejecting God and abandoning yourself to hedonistic lust.
What a difference a decade has made! In 2004, Montreal West was facing closure. Today, Montreal West counts some 140 members and adherents, many of them English-speaking Cameroonians from nearby suburbs, who have made the congregation one of the fastest growing in the presbytery. What made the difference?