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Cal Miller had given up. After searching again and again for a church, he just couldn’t find somewhere that was truly welcoming. “Walking into a church as a new person, you’d get a ‘hi’ or a ‘how are you,’ but never deeper than that,” he recalled. He always felt judged and, especially as a queer person, heard the whispers.

Then one day, Cal Miller came to Spirit Alive! Church. “It wasn’t just one big ‘aha’ moment, but all the little things” that showed Cal that Spirit Alive! was a safe place. “There were no whispers, no judgmental eyes,” he said. “Instead, there were authentic hellos and real interest in my story.” People began offering Cal rides since he doesn’t drive and, when a fire happened near his apartment, reached out immediately with deep concern, making sure he was safe.

All the little things changed how Cal even presents to the world. “I am a masculine queer person of faith. Spirit Alive’s eyes see not how society does,” he said.” “We see everyone’s uniqueness. That has given me the strength to live as who I am out in the community.”

It’s even opened Cal to begin discerning deeper ways of living his faith. After a recent fire in the apartment building across the street from his home, Cal’s renewed faith led him into action. “I couldn’t just sit at work all day. So I Doordashed coffee and hot chocolate from Dunkin’ Donuts and set up a table.” It led Cal to holding sacred space with the family of the victims and sharing hot cocoa with a police officer on the scene, “with whip cream,” Cal remembered with a smile.

Cal hopes that Spirit Alive! can continue to be a place where people find themselves wrapped in love that transforms their lives. “I hope others find that God loves everyone and the power to be themselves,” he said.

Cal’s life and faith were changed by the love and support of the people of Spirit Alive! Thank you to all who make this a safe, affirming ministry in which all can find God’s love.