Monday, January 12th, 2015
TO CHURCH OR NOT TO CHURCH???
I get tired just thinking about that question.
My ambivalence comes to the fore.
I have sampled churches throughout my adult life but never stuck to any one.
They were boring or demanding of my social life.
Too club, too little Spirit
(Just writing that makes me want to recant my judgmental approach when I never gave “joining” much of a chance.)
I now have two churches that I trust and that give me an experience of faith.
One is The Green Memorial AME Zion church in Portland Maine.
I trust it for its joy and sense of Spirit during the church service.
I trust it’s humility and devotion and sincerity.
And I trust the pastor completely to be real in life and faith.
I go and I bask and I leave with joy for my spiritual searching and a commitment to be a much better person.
The other church is in Mexico—in San Miguel de Allende.
We spend part of the year there in a small Mexican community.
The church is Colonial and both beautiful and not.
Tiny, old Talavera tiles, gold leaf, stone, elaborate altar AND neon lights and grotesque dusty statues of suffering.
It is a community church with bells that tell what’s going on—a death, a wedding, a ‘get to church lazy bones’, an alarm if needed. It is modest on the outside with two pine trees in its courtyard i.e.. concrete slab.
The priest’s voice comes out of a large cone speaker to the outside. People come in humble dress and circumstance and with humility and love for their Jesus who suffered like they do. I mumble mass in Spanish and kneel with the others on the concrete in silence and communion.
I trust this church for the love people have for it
I trust this church for its unbroken traditions.
I trust it for its simplicity.
I go as an outsider and am calmed and set right.
One church is all joyous and boisterous and spontaneous.
One is quiet submission along side suffering and comfort.
I trust both.
I go to both, not regularly
These churches are where I can dip my toe into organized religion and explore my questions and spiritual curiosity and yearning.