Friday, September 15, 2006

So I'm going to be an Episcopalian

So I'm going to be an Episcopalian--if that's what you call it. I've got a whole new jargon to learn here, like when to say Episcopal and when to say Episcopalian, or when to say Episcopal and when Anglican. I must learn not to smirk at mention of the Primates. Got to remember, too, to say Roman Catholic, not just Catholic, when talking about where I came from.

Actually, those things come fairly easily, thanks to my copy-editing background and the fact that I have been through not one or even two but three rounds of Inquirers' Classes--call me the slow learner in the group. Putting on the overall identity will be more difficult. It is taking me some time to let myself feel happy about my decision. Of course I am glad, but there's sadness involved in letting go of something that seemed a bedrock part of my identity; sadness, too, in knowing that I'll be disappointing many among my family and friends.

I had to go fetch my baptismal certificate from the bank box, to show they don't have to dunk me again. It's a small, folded piece of white paper gone faintly yellow, filled out in good old Palmer method in blue fountain pen--a rather unassuming token of something so huge. I was three weeks (!) old at the time. This paper is dated seven years later, though, meaning that my parents must have sent for it when I was preparing for First Communion. Seeing the names of my godparents makes me happy for a moment, then sad again. I'm glad I don't have to explain this to them. (Coward!)

I took one last good look and slipped the certificate into a manilla folder to keep it safe and dry during this morning's trip back to the bank box. I can't imagine when I'll need it again, but I don't want anything to happen to it in the meantime. I'm glad I had this chance to see it once more, to remind myself that where I'm going isn't so different from where I came from when you get right down it to it, which is why this baptism still counts.

Believing that is the source of the gladness that's slowly taking its place alongside all of my other mixed feelings. I want to get right down to it again. I want to join this quirky little congregation because it appears to offer my best shot at finding the inspiration, mutual encouragement, and grounding in worship that I need to get on with being a follower of Jesus Christ. I hope it will work out that way, though I haven't totally overcome the fear that maybe it won't, but I can't put any more time into second-guessing this question now. It's time.


At 9:38 PM, Blogger Nancy said...

One foot,

I'm happy for you that you've made your decision. I understand the turmoil and unrest of not knowing which way to go. Humm, does this mean you'll have to change your name to "Both feet in the boat"?
Peace to you.

At 8:32 AM, Blogger Widening Circles said...

Yeah, I've been thinking about the "one foot" problem. I wonder if I won't leave at least a toe back on shore for a long time to come. On the other hand, I could move on to one of the "one foot in heaven, one foot still on earth" variations--in which case, of course, the reference would be to the real heaven, and not to the Episcopal church as paradise. ;-)

At 9:27 PM, Anonymous Ella said...

Congrats on your decision. I understnad your sadness. It is difficult to let go of something that was once so integral to your person. On the other hand it is very exciting to move forward!

At 9:54 PM, Anonymous Ella said...

oops! I have the wrong link to my page on my first comment I posted. How embarassing!

At 9:05 AM, Blogger Rachel's Big Dunk said...

One Foot,

Congratulations! And, as my apostate father said when I told I had officially joined the Anglican Communion "Welcome to the ranks..." LOL.

There IS loss when you something behind. I felt it too, about my former denomination. (And even a little anger, frankly) but if we move as God wills us to move, we'll be ok.

Blessings on your journey, my friend.

At 6:37 PM, Blogger Widening Circles said...

Thanks! I appreciate the kind thoughts.


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