Easter is almost here, and in this week I've been pondering why I'm an Episcopalian, or why I go to church at all.
I didn't start out as anything, really. Once in while, growing up, we would go to church, but not regularly and not to the same church or even the same denomination each time.
D and I were married in a Unitarian meeting house outside Boston, with a very smart, liberal minister (is there any other kind of UU?). Her sermons were some of the best I've heard. The congregation, though, thought she wasn't motherly enough and there was a faction itching to oust her. And there was Someone missing, too, for me. An assistant minister, who was giving a very good sermon (about what, I don't remember), brought me up short by saying, ". . . and our Christian friends, who believe in Christ . . ." Well, hmm, I guess I do, too.
We moved and didn't really do much in the way of church, until L surprised everyone by declaring when she was 4: "I need to go to Sunday School!" Yes, she really, really did. And we were not living in an area of the country that could be called overly religious by any stretch of the imagination, so where did she get that notion?
I don't know, but, after giving the Congregationalists a go, we found a beautiful little Episcopal church with the most loving vicar, and settled in. I found that I really needed the weekly rituals to hang onto, that the symbols and the repetitive prayers, calls and responses were deeply soothing.
Coinciding with our move southward was the fomenting of a faction in that church who wanted Rev. B gone; and so she went, and I hope to a factionless parish who loves her. What is it about groups of people that they must create antagonism? Sometimes I find it difficult to square my peace in attending church with these inside groups, looking around every corner for a slight, or political motivation, to start in on an argument.
So, even though she's now a teenager, L is still happy to attend church, and is looking forward to the glory of Easter Sunday after the dark of Lent. And so am I.