Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Musings

I went to church this morning.

And I almost cried. Several times.

I had forgotten how much joy I can feel in the right church setting.

I had forgotten how light my heart feels when I'm worshiping God, when I can feel Her love pouring over me, when I'm just so happy to be in Her presence.

It's been so long since I've attended church. I didn't even go to church at Christmas. I think the last time I went to church was when I was home for Thanksgiving.

I haven't had a church home in a long time, since I graduated college, in fact.

It made sense at first. Was my French good enough to follow services in France? Plus I woke up so early most of the time, and I just wanted to sleep in on Sundays. In New York and in Toronto, I relied on walking and public transportation on the weekends, which didn't really encourage me. I knew living in Big City would be temporary, and I didn't want to commit to a new church right before moving again. Then I was working two jobs most of last year, and I often had to work on Sundays.

But reading that paragraph, all these decisions that made perfect sense at the time now just come off as excuses to me now. 

Beau and I will probably live here in Small City for at least two years, if not longer. I need to find a church home, and today I took that first step. 

Beau and I attended Easter services at the Episcopal Church. I was raised in a conservative Presbyterian denomination, but I need to find a Protestant denomination with a more liberal theology. The Episcopal Church is a contender.

While I didn't completely follow the entire order of service (there's a lot of repetition, and they use multiple books for reading stuff), I did love the rituals performed this morning. Plus we sang my two favorite Easter hymns!

Next weekend, I'll be a bit busy with our final wedding receptions and my parents visiting, but I hope to try out the Episcopal Church again in May.

I want to feel this joy and peace again. I want to celebrate God's love every day, not just on Easter Sunday. I just hope that I remember how I feel today in a few weeks.


  1. i had plans on going to church but was too sick, and delirious from hearing my neighbors fight for HOURS. i spent easter alone. it was kinda sad. i want a redo!

    1. That is sad. :( I hope you feel better! At least you can buy Easter candy and egg-dying kits this week on sale. You might not be able to redo the Easter service, but you can redo the secular Easter fun next weekend!

  2. I was raised in a very liberal Presbyterian congregation so I suppose it depends on your region/PCA vs non-PCA etc. In terms of other Protestant denominations on of my friends was ordained last year (Methodist) and her current Methodist congregation is liberal (pro-choice, homosexuality not a sin, etc). So there out there! Somewhere.... x

    1. I would actually share which denomination, except I did that in a conversation on reddit once, and by describing just a few things that happened at my church while growing up, someone was able to figure out my exact church. While it's kinda cool for one person to figure out, I realized I need to keep my denomination on DL elsewhere.

      I actually walked in a Pride Parade several years ago with a bunch of gay-friendly church groups! The specific group I walked with was a Methodist group, but I don't think *all* Methodists are gay-friendly, so I have to research each individual congregation in town to see what kind of Methodist they are. But from what I read online, the Episcopal Church is totally pro-LGBTQ+, and they ordain women.

  3. I'm curious as to why you refer to God as "Her"?

    1. Our limited language does not offer gender-neutral pronouns that are worthy of an all-mighty God, so I use the next best thing.

    2. So what makes one gender pronoun better than the other?

    3. For grammatical consistency, one must choose between masculine and feminine pronouns when referring to God. I use feminine pronouns because too much of the world prefers to think of God as solely masculine, and I want to challenge that limited, human thinking. I never said that one pronoun is better than another, although I can see how my response might have indicated that. For me, the next best thing involves expressing how vast and powerful and awesome God is, which can be done by challenging the status quo.

  4. Ah, I see. I thought when you said "next best thing" that you meant that the feminine was superior to the masculine. As a Christian feminist myself, I'm tempted to think that way, although some of that probably has to do with my own self-loathing as a man.

    I do believe that God is beyond physical gender, yet for some reason self-identifies as masculine in Scripture. Although I have heard some theories that the Holy Spirit represents a feminine aspect of God based on the Hebrew word Pneuma. It would be interesting if Jesus represented the masculine, the Spirit the feminine, and the God the Father as something else--yet Jesus referred to Him as Father, though. Your thoughts?

    1. 1) "So God created humankind in His image, in the image of God He created them; male and female he created them." Genesis 1:27 NSRV If men and women are created in God's own image, then how can God only be masculine? This is one of my favorite Bible verses.

      2) Wisdom is often personified in the Bible as female (Sophia), but also attributed to God. While interpretations of this vary, why shouldn't wisdom be a reflection of God's femininity?

      3) I think that Jesus was male because if He had been female at that time period, no one would have believed He was the Son of God. I think it's entirely plausible that Jesus will return as the Daughter of God, although that's pure speculation.

      4) I think God is referred to as Father because Jesus had an earthly mother. To be wholly human and wholly divine, in a physical/biological sense, Jesus would need both a father and a mother.

      5) While I believe in the divine inspiration of the Bible, I also acknowledge that it was written down by men who were sinners in a patriarchal society that considered women to be property. Of course God is referred to as masculine.

  5. you know I love the Episcopal Church, and I'm not even slightly ashamed to join you in tears at the glory of some of these services!


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