7 Days of Giving: Authenticity

By Matt Temple

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My family and I moved to the Dallas area from Chicago just over one year ago. We had connected with a church in Chicago that we loved and our Pastor had told us about a coffee shop church in Dallas. We were looking for a place committed to justice and not afraid of asking questions. We found that at kuneo on Tuesday nights at Union.

If we are all being honest I think we would admit that in our world of advertisements, consumerism, and social media there is something deep within us that craves authenticity and community.  It is not that we don’t want to be our authentic selves but we are bombarded by a constant stream of messaging that who we are is not enough and that if we want to find acceptance we have to become something other than what we are.  Union for me has been a place that gives people an open invitation to reject that messaging and live unedited.  This invitation was on full display for me a few weeks back when a small group of us from Union went on a three day retreat.  It was not your typical retreat where everyone gathers around a campfire and sings Kumbaya.  It was raw, unedited, and inspiring.  No one was trying to embellish their story or impress everyone with their great wisdom.  Each of us came into the retreat with more burdens, questions, and pain than one weekend could ever heal.  But that is the thing with permission to be your authentic self. When you find a place that invites you to take off the mask and still offers love you realize that you don’t need instant healing and the pain and questions become a little more bearable. We can connect with others in all sorts of ways.  We can build relationships around hobbies or careers, but the relationships we develop when we let others see our true and broken self and they do the same…these are the most meaningful relationships.  Union for me (and for so many others) has created a space where the unedited life can find welcome, grace, love and healing.