Wednesday, June 29, 2016

From zero to fifteen in almost 4 years

Almost four years ago, I wrote an article in a local magazine about whether I should attend church with the kids.  Soon after its publication, I started going to the Disciples of Christ church where they all attended preschool.

Our attendance has been consistently haphazard, but I'm okay with that. There is nothing like attending church two times a week as a kid (and three times a week if there happened to be a Holy Day of Obligation in addition to school mass attendance and regular Sunday attendance) to make you hate the routine rut of regular church attendance.

I was trained to be a Worship & Wonder storyteller, so I volunteer periodically to do that.  And I'm helping lead VBS this week.

At VBS the kids are learning about the beliefs of the DOC denomination, which has actually been very helpful for me personally.  Yesterday was the first time I'd ever seen the baptismal font.

After his group saw the font, G said to me, "I'm not ever going to be baptized.  I don't want to be a different person."  He, obviously, has a very simplified understanding of how baptism "changes" a person.

I very briefly felt concern when he said this, but then I had to remember that I, even after attending this church for almost four years, have yet to officially join.  I haven't made my confession of faith to join the church, and I'm not entirely certain I ever will.

Of course, the main reason for this is because I don't want to feel obligated.  This is all kinds of convoluted psychology, but I want to be at church because I want to be at church....not because I feel like I have to because I will feel guilty or obligated if I'm not.  That is not the spirit in which I want to attend.  

So I haven't joined, but I am involved.  For whatever that's worth.....which I sorta think is something. As much as I love words, I tend to think actions are way more important.

And that thinking is one of the things I really like about this church....that it values thinking about belief.

I always thought belief demanded feeling, and feeling certainty in your feeling.  And that certainty of feeling has never, ever come easily for me, especially as it concerns God or Jesus or religion.  The questioning, the considering, the evaluating....that part is natural for me, so I'm glad to be somewhere that not only allows thinking but encourages it.

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