Sunday, June 24, 2007

Church and community

It is Sunday and I do not plan to attend services today.

I thought I might try to go with a friend, but it didn't work. I've already said goodbye to the church I was attending, so I don't want to go back there. I could go to Washington Nat'l Cathedral, but don't want to worry with how to get there. I could go to a little church on Capitol Hill that I attended a few times last summer--very low church, a bit lower than I like but tolerable. Taciturn went once with me and could not tolerate it at all. I hate to show up by myself (T is working today--nothing new), but if it is a church I know, it isn't a problem.

I already have my foot well out of the door in this area. I am disengaging.

I did like the church we attended when we first got here. Yes, it was big, and there were lots of fashion plates in church each week that could make me feel badly about myself if I chose to (I worried at one point that I was not thin enough to attend that particular parish), but once I jumped in and got to know the staff and others, I was very happy there. I was active in discussion groups, Friday evening get togethers, etc. The parish was very good to me while T was deployed. But after he returned, someone said something about the military to Taciturn at a dinner group gathering to which he took offense, so he announced that he would not go back. (Knowing the person who supposedly gave the offense, I honestly believe he did not intend to. He worked in the defense industry for years.) I finished up my LEM obligations and we started looking for another church. I was not willing to do the hard work again that I had done at St. Paul's with the knowledge we were moving in less than a year, so I did not lector, LEM or anything else at ICOH, where T was happiest.

I really need to have community, or be seeking community, when I attend a church. As Kathleen Norris says, Christianity is best practiced in community. I find that to be true for myself as I seek Christ in all persons. It is wonderful to be gathered with others at the common table, others whom you love as brothers and sisters. We are Family, after all.

So at this point it is tough to attend services. But, two weeks from today I will be back in Rapid City, at Emmanuel, where I will have instant community. Already we have transferred our membership back from St. Paul's. It'll be good to be in a community where I am known and loved, and in which I know and love others.

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