Why I Started The Lasting Supper

"Tissue" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward
“Tissue” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward


Why I Started The Lasting Supper

I started TLS for basically 3 reasons:

1. I was lonely. I had left the church community and was now left on my own. Ya, I know. I’m the one who left. But I wanted to hang out with people who were on a similar path and who understood what I was going through. I knew there were people out there like me, but there weren’t any quality safe spaces where we could gather. So I created one! I’m glad I did. TLS has become my spiritual family.

2. I needed a safe space to ask my questions and process my thoughts. Many of us know the dangers of being too honest or too vulnerable or too transparent or too authentic out loud. So, few of us risk it. But what if we were provided a place where we could do it without being ridiculed or rebuked or rejected? I couldn’t find any place like that, so I created such a space where we just listen without needing to give our opinion. We give people the space and safety to heal themselves. And it’s working!

3. I care about people who are deconstructing or deconverting. I’ve been there. I know how difficult and scary it is. So, I started TLS in 2012 for just this reason: to support people through their spiritual transitions. In fact, the reason I used the above cartoon is because a woman told me yesterday that this cartoon was the one that finally motivated her to reach out to me for help! I didn’t expect TLS to become as effective as it did, and I also didn’t expect the community to become as amazing as it has. One of the big lessons I learned from TLS is that we don’t need another guru. We’ve been burned too many times by “leadership”> So I don’t take that role. I’m not the leader. We are in this together. We are a team. And it’s having a dynamic effect on the members because it empowers them to heal themselves and be their own best advocates. This makes me very happy.

There is a small monthly fee for many reasons. It takes a considerable amount of work and energy facilitating an online community like TLS. The fee also contributes to its safety by providing a gateway that keeps out trolls and bullies. People who really want to invest in their own healing and progress appreciate its value.

So, TLS has been going for about 5 years. It has done great things for many people! I’ve also made mistakes. And I’m so sorry for those. I’ve learned from them, and our community is becoming an even more thriving, peaceful, loving, deep, and fun space to process your spiritual transition.

Please join us! I will personally welcome and introduce you.


(PS: I also do one-on-one with people.)


4 Replies to “Why I Started The Lasting Supper”

  1. Hey David,

    That’s great about what you have shared on your journey and enabling similar for others. I hope you and others are finding TLS a great place to do that and where comfort can be given and received in the transformative process which often can be tough.

    What stood out to me is what you wrote of “the dangers of being too honest or too vulnerable or too transparent or too authentic out loud. So, few of us risk it.” Well, that speaks into what I have been experiencing. And from what you and Caryn have shared, I know I am not alone in this here.

    I’m laughing now as I write this. Apparently I had “self appointed advocacy” of a team mate and in order to “resolve” the situation and distress I had experienced, I was invited to resign. Of course I didn’t resign and that’s what put the cat among the pigeons. Still waiting the outcome of a process of complaint I have made in which the official line is that this procedure is in place in order to learn and improve and put things right for the complainant. So I guess we will see if that happens or there is more of the same.

    I guess where I am coming from is that it is good to audition safe people and safe spaces like it sounds TLS is for support when needed. But there is no avoiding that this is a universal problem with human nature. And for creative types there are always going to be those in charge with egos that while recognising creativity will consciously or unconsciously discourage it wanting to feel in control and take credit for everything.

    So, while it’s good to have places of safety, can we say that in order to be great it’s always going to be necessary to be prepared to be misjudged, mocked and hated and there is a need to be prepared for that and engage with it if issues like this are to be addressed?

    A lot of evil happens because good people stand around and do nothing?

  2. True. I believe TLS is a safe place. Right now. There have been moments when it hasn’t been… when someone disregards others and hurts them. But we move fast to repair that and endeavor to create the environment where that is less likely to happen again. We’re learning.

  3. And… well… I like to call TLS a ‘safer’ place.

    In a room of 200 people able to chat about religion – and the evil it has done…. oh, and their reconstructed faith and the good it has done…. there are bound to be triggers.

    We learn self-care. We learn to watch the discussion, retouch our wounds or joys, then share our stories, and value everyone’s journey.

    And sometimes, we simply must look the other way, and not comment.

    I think that is what makes TLS work – there is room for every reaction and every story – even opposite stories.

    We learn that life does not require an ‘absolute answer or rebuke’ – sometimes, we just listen, and click on ‘like’ to let the person know we are following their thoughts.

    Sometimes, we are just honoring their journey, their questions, and their courage in facing broken dreams, shattered fantasies, and betrayals.

    Sometimes, we just give hugs.

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