Raised Lutheran, convert Jewels Green is a former abortion clinic worker turned ardent human rights advocate.
I grew up fatherless in a multigenerational household. Being surrounded by extended family – all the time – was a great comfort to me as an only child, as was attending Sunday School every week at the ELCA Lutheran church where my mother and her seven siblings were all baptized, where I was baptized, and where later my three sons would all be baptized as well.
I loved Sunday School and singing in the children's choir at church. The music of worship always made me feel happy, at peace, and closer to God. My favorite hymns of childhood still bring me such joy. I remember in one of the classrooms at Sunday School hung a beautiful painting of Jesus, surrounded by children, and I thought “it would be wonderful if He were my dad!” When the teacher explained that He was my spiritual Father, well, that suited me perfectly.
As the years went on, I embarked upon a bumpy road through a stage of adolescent rebellion, though I still went to Sunday school. I attended every Sunday, even with a shaved head and heavy black eyeliner – until I was sixteen. That's when my faith got shaky, then disappeared completely for a spell. I'd ‘fallen in with the wrong crowd’, which meant I'd fallen out of my religion.