By Tim Clark
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I started worshipping at Union three years ago when I moved to Dallas for my Masters of Divinity at Perkins School of Theology. I’m a cradle Methodist. My dad is ordained, but my mom is the real preacher in our family. I sang in choirs and led bible studies and went to summer camp every year. But as I grew up, Christianity started to grow more and more distant with what I believed and knew about the world.
Even though I was raised in a town where everyone was Christian it seemed, I needed a place where I could ask questions and be led through the struggle between faith and doubt. Perhaps especially as a seminary student, I needed a place to walk with others who felt the same deep and distressing questions I did. It’s one thing to read books and write papers between the walls of hallowed classrooms, but it is another to meet your neighbors and live with other people who walk the same streets as you. You might have figured where I’m going with this: Union was the place where I walked alongside other Christians and where I came back to a faith that I nearly abandoned. Through meeting friends and strangers alike each day as a barista, I heard the stories of the people of Dallas – God’s stories. By being both a coffee shop and a church, Union is capable of forming community with both church-going people and people who wouldn’t be found in a church normally. Union is doing groundbreaking work, making the Church at large more reflective of all of God’s children. Even those who dare to ask the questions that we all struggle with.