Sunday, April 30, 2006

Time travel

As a corollary to my moratorium on thinking about religion, I also resolved to stop making mental lists of churches that must be visited before my investigation of religious options can be considered complete.

The new plan was to go wherever I felt drawn to be, so this morning, I found myself at the local Anglo-Catholic Episcopal church. I've been there twice before. It's a pretty little church, very traditional in appearance. It felt comfortably churchy, though I must admit that it does feel strange to find them doing things I haven't seen in a Roman Catholic church since I was a child--kneeling at the altar rail for communion, for example. Last time I visited, there was even a very traditionally dressed acolyte who held a paten under each chin.

It also feels like a seriously religious place, which I would like. My faith informs most things I do; I think that will be true no matter what I call myself. I am realizing through missing it that part of what I expect from a religious community is to be with others for whom the same is true and who are interested in reflecting on that, no matter what they call themselves. I felt right at home discussing the question Why Do Service? with people from the university who identified themselves as Presbyterian, Jewish, Hindu, and not-religious (but whose lives are definitely informed by what they believe).

The last time I was here was right before Lent, and the priest announced a long list of Lenten events. I asked on my way out if that schedule was written down somewhere, and he promised to email it to me but never did. I figured he'd lost my email address, or forgotten, or both. Things like that happen to all of us, and I wasn't particularly upset about it. I thought he'd probably forgotten me, too, by now, but when it was over he managed to greet me by name--extra credit for that.

(I admit feeling a small tug toward the local Roman Catholic church this morning, but when a quick check of the online schedule revealed that I would have been headed for First Communion, I squelched the thought. Maybe there isn't much I feel clear about with regards to religion these days, but I knew I wasn't up for that.)

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