Put it this way: I'm a superstitious, medieval christian. And I gravitate to the Lady Chapel.
I like that definition very much.
And perhaps you've found your spot closer to home than you thought.
I have often entertained fancies about all the Pagan gods and goddesses having bemused discussions about their transformation into Catholic saints. It's one of the things I love about Catholicism in particular.
That would be a good thing to write. And you- with your gift for dialogue- would be just the person to do it.
It really sounds lovely and appealing.
I don't think you'd altogether approve the music. There's a robed choir- so they are trying- but the organist hit a lot of bum notes.
You're a superstitious, medieval *English* Christian. That's the best kind. :)
We sang a charming anthem by Peter Warlock yesterday, with a fifteenth(?)-century text, "Where Riches Is Everlastingly", and I was charmed all over again by that medieval English theology, the homeliness of it, as Julian of Norwich would say.
The wise simplicity of those medieval texts ought to be the easiest thing to imitate. In fact there's nothing harder.
2009-01-05 03:15 pm (UTC)
go to one's local church and be part of one's local community
One key aspect of Christianity's strength was always the sense of commuinty it can engender within a group. If you have found a place that offers the possibility of these feelings of inclusion - Go for it, say I.
2009-01-05 04:50 pm (UTC)
Re: go to one's local church and be part of one's local community
I took the Christian community for granted when I was a kid. Now- knowing what a rare thing community is- I value it a whole lot more. I certainly didn't find any community worth the name in Paganism.
I think that's why I'm having trouble leaving the church - it's the community.
We have a little of that scrappiness here in America in our Episcopal Churches. I think that's another reason why I keep hanging on, in spite of the fact that there's so much infighting.
Community can be stifling- but I think I've got to a stage where I'm pretty good at resisting- or simply ignoring- the pressure to conform.
I like your description of the place. Given how scalding you can be about religion that rubs you (and, I suspect, me as well) the wrong way, I feel very convinced that the warmth with which you depict the service and congregation is a pretty good indication that you've found a place where you can both get some sense of je ne sais quoi without compromising what you stand for and what you stood for.
I have this love/hate relationship with religion. I thought I'd outgrown it, but it seems not. So here we go again...
That sounds lovely. I admire your conviction in remaining true to yourself, as I feel it's important. But I really believe in an actual community, and what you've found sounds promising. I look forward to hearing more!
It's funny, I don't know that I would trust American churches to have the kind of open mindedness I believe in. I tried a few times, and my grandmother has all but given up for herself. The chip on my shoulder about Christianity has a definite American flavor.
And yet it was an American Anglican community in New Hampshire that elected Gene Robinson a Bishop. There's hope there somewhere.
Jesus said; Where two or three are gathered together in my name - there am I also. It's up to us to decide what 'in my name' means. I think.
Welcome home. That is to say, I suspect you've found a community that will welcome you and your personal experience of Christianity on your terms.
I hope so. At the moment it all seems rather exciting.
with a lovely, east window showing the soldiers and civilian workers of the Great War grouped around Jesus in a field.
In my theology, Christ is a god among gods- cousin to Hercules, Dionysos, Horus, John Barleycorn- a good myth, but not the only one. Also in my theology there's the Goddess- and Binah sits higher on the tree of life than Tiphareth.
My mother has for years described herself as a pantheistic Jew. It always causes the other person to blink, which is probably good for them.
It's very English- in an Ealing comedy sort of a way- low key, unshowy, good-humoured.
Doesn't sound like a bad match to me.
I don't know quite how I'd describe myself. The noun would probably be "Christian"- but "pagan" and "Goddess worshipping" would have to be among the adjectives.
Glad you enjoyed the service. Nosy question: why did you reject Wicca in the end?
We didn't really reject it, we slid out of it. We were running our own coven- and it was mentally and emotionally exhausting. At the end of a period of about seven years we were commissioned to write a book- which we did- and after that it seemed as though we'd said all we had to say on the subject, so we wound the coven up- and took a long rest.
But once an initiate, always an initiate. I don't see any problem in being a both a Christian and a Pagan.
I like your theology. It makes sense. And after all, the Commandment doesn't say "There are no other gods so stop believing in them", it says "Thou shalt have no other gods before me."
Congratulations on having found a comfortable place to be.
"All the Gods are One God and all the Goddesses are One Goddess."
Besides, I never paid much attention to all that huffing and puffing in the Old Testament. :)
I'm looking forward to visiting St. Andrew's, the neighborhood church in the neighborhood I'm moving to later this month.
I look forward to comparing notes. :)
While I was sitting in our own candlelit church last night, handbell choir just behind me in the choirloft, orchestra in front, I thought about you and Ailz and hoped you had a good experience at church yesterday, and it does seem that you did. I'm glad, glad you are back in a place that is a part of who you are--in whatever way you and the church come together again, this time it will be a personal communion and very rich, I think.
Thank you, Jackie.
I needed this. It felt like we'd been resting long enough- and it was time we had an "adventure".
2009-01-05 10:47 pm (UTC)
wow! this is interesting stuff. keep on posting..