John Knoff’s Poem: “To My Church”

This is a poem by John Knoff. It is a follow up to his wife Eva Sullivan-Knoff’s story which is found immediately below. Thank you John!

To My Church

Once a month on Friday evenings
he asked us
to drop him off at church
so he could go with the youth group
to the soup kitchen.

Then there were the monthly
Saturday mornings
when we brought him back to church
to help stock the food pantry.
I know he enjoyed the donuts,
but he would have gone

His favorite time of year? Going
to church camp,
cooking over the fire,
climbing the high ropes course,
knowing God better.

Last summer youth
from churches
around the country gathered,
and as the speaker
encouraged them to live out
their faith
in truth,
with no masks
(she by the way took off
her mask—her make-up—on stage),
he went forward:
committed to God,
to living in truth,
no masks.

He has been busier
lately—getting straight A’s,
performing in plays and musical groups.
And being with friends.
How he cares for his friends!
I know he would do anything
for them.

In our society it isn’t deemed
manly for a son
to say “I love you” to his dad very often,
let alone almost every time he heads
out the door!
But how I treasure that he doesn’t
care what society thinks.

He is my son,
oh and I almost forgot to tell
you (not that it really matters)
—   he’s gay.


  • Sally Panci

    Beautiful and leaving me tearful!

  • ilsabe

    very inspiring – thanks, John!

  • Benj is so lucky to have such loving parents, and John & Eva are so blessed to have Benj has a wonderfully, thoughtful, loving son! Thanks so much for sharing.

  • Lynne Sheaff

    John, what a beautiful tribute to a beautiful son. Sorry I was so far away and didn’t really pick up on this. Love to all of you.

  • Hello Knoff family, Sally and I have connected lately and she was telling me your story and invited me to this website. I am very touched by your sharing your story here. Know that I support you as you all seek to be who you really are! I told Sally about a group called the Progressive Christian Alliance ( I have come across it lately and it seems to desire to be a support to those facing this kind of struggle. They are evangelicals and Catholics and other kinds of Protestants seeking to be fully inclusive, and they make a way for a person to be ordained too–people who have been in your kind of position, Eva. Just a thought….blessings Eileen Knoff (Steve’s wife)