The First Day

Six months ago I introduced my idea to organize a secular community in Kansas City, two days ago we held our first gathering. The team I am a part of deserves more gratitude than I can achieve with a keyboard or pen. They have given their time, their money, and their talents for this project. They are truly amazing.

Last Sunday was unlike any of our expectations. If we were gauging our launch on the basis of attendance, it was a success; standing room only. However, attendance is a terrible measure of success. Certainly we needed attendance, after all, what is a community without people? The real measure of success became apparent in more of a cascading crescendo. We watched people engaged in conversations with others like them: success. We heard the stories of those disenfranchised from the faith community yet welcomed here: success. Our children’s program was overflowing with little ones: success. One person told me, “I can finally be myself,” another said, “I’ve been waiting for this my whole life.”

I never thought hugs, tears, and laughter could be so fulfilling, yet they were. Meaning truly comes from making a difference, and people really are more important than beliefs. We didn’t know how Kansas City Oasis would be received, but we knew the purpose of our efforts. We believe the benefits of belonging shouldn’t be monopolized by churches. Last Sunday we took the first step in changing that in our city.

Our future is bright and full of potential.

Welcome home!

Helen Stringer
Executive Director