Chad and Felix: Feeling Seen and Being Seen

Felix Marcial’s first time at Seattle Unity was not a joyous occasion – he was experiencing deep grief following the sudden death of his long-term partner. Marcial already attended a church community, but when his partner passed, he was reduced to just a friend of his partner’s and did not receive the support he needed during his grieving period.

“I didn’t feel accepted or included, so I decided to look for where I could find that and where I could find the spirituality that I was seeking,” Marcial said. “I found it in Seattle Unity. Because I felt there was no judgment, I felt that I was included, and I could be myself and I was comfortable.”

That was fifteen years ago. When he met Chad Zinda, Marcial explained the importance of his spirituality and asked Zinda to join him at Seattle Unity just to try it out. This would not be Zinda’s first time at Seattle Unity, so he welcomed the chance to revisit it.

“There’s an immediate sense of belonging, I think you can feel that,” Zinda said. “I pick up on the energy that’s in the room, and the energy is always there. I think there’s always a hesitation or a concern – it’s scary to go to a new place – and there’s almost an ease that I have experienced, and I’ve been to a lot of different churches.”

Marcial felt similarly at home at Seattle Unity.

“Coming back with a partner that I love,” Marcial said, “it just made our journey together that much richer.”

The pair described how anyone could walk through Seattle Unity’s doors and they will feel included in the community without judgment.

“What I feel is the satisfaction that finally, somebody is seeing me,” Marcial said. “I’m not invisible, and Seattle Unity makes it so comfortable for you to be yourself, not hiding from anything, and be able to love whoever you want to love. I think it seems small for some people, but for me, it’s very big. It just fills me with so much joy and happiness inside that it allows me to do even better in my job, do even better in the community, do even better approaching other people. It just enhanced my life in a big way.”

Zinda finds meaning and discovery in every talk at Seattle Unity. When he’s searching for guidance or help, the answer always seems to find its way into the message of the service.

“There is not a Sunday that goes by when we’re in attendance that I’m not uplifted,” Zinda said, “whether it’s through song, whether it’s through worship, whether it’s through the messaging, whether it’s through the giving statement, there’s something that is uplifting.”

When Zinda and Marcial think about what Seattle Unity gives them, they landed on enlightenment and acceptance. They can attest – at Seattle Unity, you’re not only invited, but you’re welcome to be who you are.