My Intention

“I have often felt a motion of love to leave some hints in writing of my experience of the goodness of God, and now, in the thirty-sixth year of my age, I begin this work.”

This was once written by John Woolman, and while I’m currently only in the twenty-third year of my age, over the last year I, too, have felt a similar motion.



Now allow myself to introduce…myself.

I’m a queer Quaker, and my name is A.J.

That stands for Alberto John Mendoza, but I’ve gone by A.J. for my entire life. I graduated from George Fox University in 2013, where I majored in Political Science and History.  I’m a native Oregonian, but currently I’m living in Atlanta as part of my year in Quaker Voluntary Service.  I work at Habitat for Humanity, but my passion, the thing that I think about more often than not, is making Christian Colleges safer places where LGBTQ students have the means to meet their needs.  I hope to attend Seminary in the not too distant future, and could see myself being a pastor someday.

…are you still with me? Ok great! I hate trying to give an elevator speech about myself…truth be told, the “about me” sections on online profiles cause some anxiety for me.  Its like trying to make a good first impression, and the stakes seem high to me! What should I include? What should I leave out?! Steee-ressful.

I’m a believer that naming fears is a way to remove their power.  So, in addition to my already named fear of introductions, here is what has kept the motion to start a blog simmering for so long in my mind.  I’m afraid that no one would particularly care to hear what I have to say.  I’m afraid that fellow Christians will belittle and attack me.  I’m afraid of being seen as being in-bed-with-the-enemy by others in the queer community.  I’m afraid of writing something that would bring pain to another person.  I’m afraid of being labeled or limited by what I write. I’m afraid I will be misunderstood, and that people will pick out old quotes of mine to hold over my head and say, “Aha! See! Look what he wrote here! Told you he wasn’t worth listening to!”
Ok, that felt good…I think. *Deep cleansing breaths*

This blog exists now and I will be true to my leading, to hell with being afraid. 

I want to try to make my intention a little more clear.  

I intend to write very honestly, and on a myriad of topics.  Some of my posts will be raw parts of my experience growing up as a gay man.  Some will be about my personal Christian faith, and my experience as a Quaker.  Some will be responses to what moves me that day, which could be a song, an interaction, or even an episode of Star Trek….actually there will definitely be many references to Star Trek. I can be pretty nerdy, a little slow on the uptake, and a bit too sarcastic at times.  I don’t have any delusion that I will be the next Rachel Held Evans or Justin Lee, or that I will make some groundbreaking Quaker theological tome.  This will just be me. honest.

I intend to use this blog to try to encourage those who are in need. How this will happen…well I’m not entirely sure, but I know that there were times when I was a kid that I scoured different corners of the internet looking for encouragement.  Maybe someone like that will make their way onto this blog, and maybe it will give them something they need.  Maybe that someone is you right now! Maybe I already know you, maybe I don’t.  Either way though, odds are I’d like to get to know you better. 


I believe that there is tremendous power in a story. The world is full of stories that should be told and aren’t being told. 

So, if my story has the power to help someone in any sense whatsoever, I intend to tell it.

This blog will be more than elevator speech, no one post is going to capture who I am entirely now, or what I will be like in the future.  You, the reader, are now a part of this story too! Imagine that we are walking into the woods together, I’m not sure where we will end up, but the journey has begun.

And lastly, in case this is the only time you will visit this blog, I want to tell you that God loves you, exactly as you are.  

19 comments:

  1. Thanks, AJ. We'll look forward to more. God be with you in this endeavor.

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    1. Thank you for the support Joe, it means so much to me : )

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  2. I'm glad you're doing this, A.J.! I wish you all the best. I'll be sure to read you. :)

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    1. Thanks for the wishes coming my way Stephanie : D and for being a regular reader!

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  3. I enjoyed reading what you have written, and the thoughts and courage that it takes to be so vulnerable and honest. Integrity is such a core element of Friends practice throughout the Society's history. But more importantly, it is the right thing for all Christians.

    Having integrity means that we are honest with who we are and what we are. Always. In every situation.

    You of course know I will support you and be by your side. We're in this, whether we wanted to be or not, together! And I know we are not alone. I hope that you won't mind my contributions to this blog as it certainly relates to me as well as to you….among some others.

    "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, power, and a sound mind."

    I think you show a very sound mind and that spirit of love that is beyond just the human's ability to love. It is of God.

    God bless!

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    1. Not only do I not mind your contributions, I very much look forward to them! The boat metaphor that you shared during worship really resonated with me. I think you are really brave, and look forward to getting to know you more Friend!

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  4. So honored to know you and so thankful to have you in Atlanta with QVS this year! Looking forward to more posts.

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement to keep writing Christina! The honor is mine, its quite a ministry to be able to be a part of : )

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  5. Thanks for sharing your voice. It's one more of us need to hear. Keep it up. I'll be reading.

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    1. Hey thanks for that : ) I'll be sure to keep writing!

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  6. Thank you AJ! It will be helpful to hear your story and your perspective!

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    1. Thanks! I hope it is enjoyable to read : )

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  7. Hi A.J.,
    I'm excited you've started a blog. Thanks for being a truth teller.

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    1. Thanks Claire X ) I'm kinda excited too!

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  8. Hi, A.J. - I enjoyed reading your post, and I'd like to talk with you. Please e-mail me at josh@westrichmondfriends.org.
    - Josh Brown

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    1. Thanks so much for reaching out Josh! Its great to be able to connect with another Friend from West Richmond Monthly Meeting : )

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  9. Thank you for introducing yourself. I'm glad to meet you! You are not alone with the Spirit that you carry as Quaker, Christian and queer. It is a blessing to hear your voice.
    Heather, Twin Cities Friends, Minnesota

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    1. Aw :' ) thanks Heather that is really kind of you to say. Blessings to you and Twin City Friends!

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  10. As a fellow queer George Fox student I just found your blog, and I'm so moved by your story. Thank you so much for being honest and vulnerable. I can tell that you will make some great changes to the world. You are obviously an amazing person and I only regret that I didn't really get to know you when I was at Fox. Best of luck to you, and thank you for your message of encouragement.

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