Long before I was Catholic, long before I was Christian even, I was a deist. That is, I believed there was a God, but thought that Jesus was a good man who lived a long time ago and had good things to say to us. The only religious education I had ever received, and that very very occasionally, was Unitarian. The Unitarians, as revealed in their name, rejected the idea of Trinity and spoke of Jesus, when they did at all, in similar terms as my own.
A fellow graduate student attended a place called Reedwood Friends Church, and he invited me to attend it. This was an Evangelical Friends congregation which meant they were Quakers who had a pastor. They had long periods of silent worship and they adhered to all the testimonies of the Quakers such as peace and social justice.
I visited with great trepidation. Most of what I knew of Christianity was negative, informed by street preaching and door to door evangelizing. To my surprise, a distinguished looking man came up to me after the service and welcomed me. He asked me why I was visiting. I explained I was not a Christian but was intrigued by Christianity.
He said, “You are welcome to sojourn with us as long as you like. You don’t have to do anything else.” With all pressure off, I attended church there for many years, gradually having a conversion, quiet and true, to Christianity.
Arthur Roberts, a now retired professor from George Fox University, was that welcoming face of Christ.
Thanks to those who share, rather than impose, their faith.