Becoming Front Porch
In June 2016, I packed up all my belongings and my cat and moved across the country. I took I-10 all the way from Northwest Florida to Southern California and then made my way north to Los Altos, where I was to be the newest associate pastor at Los Altos United Methodist Church. I moved to live more openly and authentically as a lesbian pastor, which is much more acceptable in California than in many places in the Southeastern United States. So my cat Bandit and I moved into our 600 square foot apartment in Old Mountain, ready for our next big adventure.
The day I rolled into Mountain View, I did some unpacking and then walked downtown to Casa Lupe for dinner. I walked through the parking lot of what was Trinity United Methodist Church to a bustling Castro Street, and as I passed by that church for the first time, I felt a slight tug. “What an opportunity this place has to connect with the folx of downtown Mountain View,” I thought. And that’s how my love story with Mountain View began.
Since that day, I’ve met my wife who I married in September 2018. Later that month, we welcomed Granger, a pit bull chihuahua mix pup. And in June of 2019, our first two kids, Jo (now 20 years old) and Akiah (now 16 years old), came to live with us. I’m no longer in that 600 square foot apartment. Instead, we live in the house that belonged to Trinity United Methodist Church, which has since merged with Los Altos United Methodist Church. Just one street over from where I was. And that tug I felt that has become Front Porch.
Front Porch started as a dream—what would it look like to create a meaningful connection with and among the people in downtown Mountain View? What would it look like to create a space where people can come from different backgrounds and find that they are united and a part of something bigger than themselves? What would it look like to follow Jesus in a way that includes those who the church has often ignored? How can we follow Jesus in a way that cares more about people’s behavior than their belief?
On Sunday, January 16, we celebrate Becoming Front Porch—a celebration of transition for Front Porch. We have spent many months sharing about what Front Porch will be. We have anticipated that it will be a space where people can come from different spaces and backgrounds and share in a commitment to something bigger than themselves. We have emphasized the Sacred Act of Neighboring as a path to personal and communal growth. It has been fun to dream big dreams.
And now, on January 16, we will celebrate that we are no longer anticipating but actively living into what we say we are about. We’re not saying that we’re done growing, changing, and transforming. That will be a lifelong process for Front Porch, the organization, and the people who make up the organization. But we are saying that in this place, you will find a community of people full of flaws and imperfections but dedicated to growing in the Sacred Act of Neighboring.
What a gift to be in this place and time.
Sam Blewis, Pastor to the Neighborhood