I don’t mean to offend anybody, but I have a confession to make: I’m a little biased when it comes to antichrists.
When I first became aware of the idea of a “Christian antichurch” in the 1970s, I immediately felt that it was not an accurate representation of what the concept of the church really stood for.
For a while, I didn’t even bother to bother researching the church or its history.
I just felt like I was getting to know my own beliefs better, so I gave up on the whole “faith” thing altogether and moved on to the next one.
When a young woman named Chanda Flower came across the word “antichurch,” she knew exactly what she was getting herself into.
She didn’t just want to find a place for her family to pray; she wanted to build a place where everyone could find the right prayer for them.
Chanda grew up in a small town called Clackamas County, Oregon, and was raised Catholic, which she credits with instilling a sense of community among her family and her friends.
She also believed in the supernatural and that Christianity was a path that would lead to salvation.
“I was baptized at age seven, and I felt like there was a little bit of a spiritual awakening in my life that had nothing to do with the faith, and everything to do [with] a really strong sense of belonging to something greater than myself,” she said.
“There was a sense that if you just felt this connection to something larger than yourself, then you would be able to go to heaven.”
And so she became a pastor.
But, when she found out that there were thousands of Christian churches around the world, she realized that she was going to need a little help.
In order to get started, Chanda had to find out what the Bible really meant to people in a community.
She and her husband, Bob, were so impressed with the amount of support they got from fellow pastors that they decided to take it upon themselves to become an evangelist, trying to help others find what they believed to be their spiritual home.
They had no idea that they were going to be evangelists.
Chandi and Bob, now 75 and 73, founded their own church in the mid-1990s, called St. Thomas Aquinas Center, to serve as a place of refuge for people who felt like they had no one to turn to for help.
Today, St. Anthony Aquinas Catholic Church is located just down the street from the Oregon Center for the Performing Arts, where the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and other Christian groups have their regular Sunday services.
They are one of the most active, inclusive churches in the country, and a significant part of Portland’s cultural scene.
St. Aquinas has more than 10,000 members and is growing rapidly.
In the spring of 2013, it was a big deal that the Oregon Christian Center, which runs the local chapter of the National Organization for Marriage, came to Portland for a week to help run its spring festival, which was held the same weekend as St. Andrea Aquinas’ feast.
It was also a biggie that the Portland Art Museum, which had recently purchased the Oregon Aquinas painting that was to be part of the installation, had invited Chanda and Bob to speak there as well.
The church’s mission statement is simple: To “bring the Gospel into the lives of people in every corner of the globe.”
It is also one of a growing number of churches that offer a ministry to LGBT people and to other marginalized communities.
They often find that it takes years to build and are often struggling to attract new members.
Some, like the Aquinas Church in Los Angeles, are able to attract more than their usual numbers because they are so committed to a single vision.
That is, they believe that one of their central tenets is that “there is a God who loves us and has anointed us to be his people,” and that one way to live that faith is to seek and seek and bring to Christ the truth of God.
It’s a concept that has gained a lot of traction in recent years, and in the wake of the Orlando shootings, many have called for a similar kind of church to be built in Orlando, as well as the cities of Charleston, South Carolina, and Kansas City, Missouri.
But what does it mean to be an “anticherist” in Portland?
What is the church like in practice?
The answer to that question is complicated, because in many ways, it’s hard to know exactly what it means to be “an anticherist.”
In Portland, the word is often used to refer to a person who, when given a choice, will either “accept” the church’s doctrine or “deny” it.
When we hear “antheist,” what we usually think of is a person “who believes