Good morning! Church day again! Geez time is going faster. It seems the weeks are flying by. It’s like every other day I’m saying “time for church”! That’s OK. I find I look forward to church now, after being “unchurched” for more than twenty years. Maybe I just got tired of going it alone and wanted to find like-minded friends to walk with me for a while along my spiritual path.
I’m in a class where we have wonderful discussions about a wide variety of books. Currently it’s an Echart Tolle book.
We’ve covered so many authors since I started going there four years ago and so many topics. When I started, the “group” had just begun “A History of God“.
Karen Armstrong has written over 1,000 pages starting with the pagans up to modern times. There is a 97 minute video on the internet. If you are interested in the history of God, it’s a good way to deepen understanding in this, to me, fascinating topic. She covers details I don’t ever remember learning in Sunday School.
There weren’t very many of us in that class. I think we aveeraged three per class. I felt I had completed a college level course by the time we finished, but I stuck it out. It was worth it, however. With our next book more people started to come back.
After our class, we gather in the Fellowship Hall to talk with others over coffee and then we go to the service where there is sure to be a positive message to encourage us throughout the week.
I like the way our service is upbeat. We are not drowned out by mighty pipe organs. We often sing songs where it is perfectly allowable to move to the beat. The choir and the minister don’t wear robes. There is no pulpit. No one is “Mightier than thou.” There are no ritual prayers.
Yes, we all know that in our daily lives we do things that are not “right” by social or church standards. However, we do not dwell in guilt about it. We recognize it and try not to repeat it. We say that “sin” is close to its original meaning of an archery term of “missing the mark”. When we act in a way where we are missing the mark, we are separating ourselves from the love of God. One phrase I heard often throughout my life is “I’m not worthy“. Scroll down this link and view how this poet views life. I no longer feel that way.
In my own mind, it is an insult to God who created us in his/her own image to say we are not worthy of forgiveness. Aren’t I saying that I am less than deserving of the love You put into Your own creation? When I realized I AM worthy of God’s love and forgiveness and stopped feeling guilty 24/7, I started to heal. God LOVES me. S/He doesn’t condemn me. That’s a powerful understanding and I don’t think it is being egotistical. These are the understandings I have come to know in my present church.
After the service, it’s back to the Fellowship Hall again to talk with others and another cup of coffee or a visit to the bookstore.
Sometimes some of us go out to lunch afterwards. When I first started going there, a large group gathered every Sunday at different restaurants around town. Then numbers began to taper off but the smaller group continued. Then it wasn’t every Sunday. Now it is occasionally. I miss that every Sunday routine. It beats coming home by myself when I feel I want to socialize some. We all seem to be making other plans for our Sunday afternoons. That’s too bad. I can’t complain, however, because I am not willing to be the co-ordinator and arrange with different restaurants accomodations for our group. The man who was doing that found it time consuming and moved on the other things.
One reason it is so difficult for us to get together on a regular basis is that our church kind of celebrates that getting us involved in activities is similiar to herding cats. Our church kind of attracts free thinkers who may or may not participate on any given occasion. Some of us are warm and cuddly. Others of us are more reserved. Then there are the group of us who used to be reserved but found so much love, affection, and acceptance that we’re getting cuddly too. I don’t ever remember anyone in the church of my youth hugging. The men would shake hands. The women would just stand there and nod acknowledgement. Now, it is a given to get at least ten hugs each Sunday morning.
I have been there long enough to realize people are cycling through. They come for a while and then disappear only to return again. There is a core group that seems pretty stable, but most of them are not the single ones. Cats are such individuals. We definitely view ourselves differently from sheep who tend to be of one mind and flock together into easily manageable groups.
My goodness. My church was not even the topic I was going to discuss today. I guess it’s just that I’m seeing my life change in such positive ways that I sometimes get overly enthusiastic in my desire to share. I know some people are really turned off by this topic. I apologize if my views have offended anyone. There are certain friends that are very fundamental in their beliefs with whom I do not share any of my thoughts.
Whatever your beliefs, I hope you have a restful Sunday. Take care, dear visitors. I’m really happy that you dropped in. It looks like I’ll have my 1,000 visitor some time today or soon. I need about 40 more. How exciting! Namaste. Gotta get to church! Attic Annie