Rod Mundy was having a difficult Sunday.
The United Church of Christ minister was in the midst of his divorce. And letters outing him to the entire Lancaster, Pennsylvania, congregation had started arriving in their mailboxes the day before.
Now, a church trustee was standing and interrupting his Aug. 16, 1998, service, waving the paper and shouting over the crowd, "Is it true?"
"I don't know," Rod recalls saying. "I'm not Carnac the Magnificent. I can't tell whatever is in that letter you're holding."
He finished the service and had planned to have lunch with a deacon from another church. "It was one of those horrible, bad, rotten, just-want-to-jump-off-a-bridge days," he says.
But Rod kept his commitment with his friend anyway. As he picked up the deacon, a familiar face from the seminary, Darryl Haase, came around the back of the building. Rod beeped the horn and invited him along.
"I was a mess," Rod recalls. "But it was like, I've got to get to know this person. It feels like this person is my alter ego."
"I look at that date as the day things kind of fit together," says Darryl, 49. "I could have gone out the front of the church that day."
In 2000, they had a commitment ceremony in Cleveland's Amistad Chapel. Fifteen years to the day, June 29, they made it legal.
"I've really believed in God's serendipitous moments," says Rod, 59, now a staffer for the Open and Affirming Coalition in the United Church of Christ. "That had to be one of the biggest serendipitous moments of my life."