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Stefan S.

Stefan S.

In 2021, I first encountered Eden Invitation while browsing Facebook and coming across a Catholic News Agency article about this group. I was intrigued that CNA was writing about it and decided to check them out. They mentioned that the way to join was through an online book club or their annual retreat.  By this point, I was tired of anything more online, so opted to go on the retreat. This retreat completely changed my life.  

Going on the retreat, meeting others in the community, and learning the values of EI, I finally began to feel as though I truly belong and am loved. I always, intellectually, knew that I was loved by Jesus and others, but it was when I went on retreat that I truly felt it and began to really believe in it. The values of beloved unrepeatability and mutual belonging hit me hard.  I found where I belong, my family, my people, and that I wasn’t alone, like I felt for so long.

Watching EI grow has been incredible. When I first joined EI there was only myself and one other person in the state I'm from. We now have 14 members in our state and our own Hearth Group. I remember flying from my first retreat and looking over my city as we were preparing to land and thinking that there were so many gay Christians that I wanted to reach out, give them a big hug, and tell them they are not alone, and they are loved so much. It has been an honor watching people experience this in my own backyard.

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