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Sunday, October 23, 2011

my St. Luke's Experience 1

Today's church experience made me feel warm. Far from being Episcopal, I went to St. Luke's Episcopal Church.

I felt odd going there because it's where Monica attends but she's never invited me to come. It could have been a natural invite both when we talked about me visiting places in an attempt to find a church and also when I asked her if she had ever heard of St. Luke's and if it's the place she goes. Showing up could be like invading her space and I don't want to do that. She wasn't there today. I went because it's Episcopal and the Episcopal Bishop is gay; why not be open and affirming? More so, I went because a guy at TEP told me to go there. He thinks it will be safe so I decided to check it out. SN: Bishop Robinson is listed as the New Hampshire bishop on wikipedia. Maybe Jackson's Episcopal bishop isn't gay after all. Oh well.

Other cons of the church: Quiet-style. Kneeling. Afraid I'll fall asleep. lol

On to some pros:
They said a prayer I remember praying before and liking even then. I suppose it's a common Episcopal prayer, perhaps something I'll read each time I'm there? It goes:

Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent, for the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.

They do that extended call and response before communion. I LOVE saying, "Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ WILL come again." Most folk don't seem to emphasize the "will" though :/.

Initial observations: older, white congregation. Then I looked to my right and saw that all of the young people sat there. I found it funny that Monica talks about her young congregation when only about 1/3 of them are young. I had a totally different imagine of who was there from her comments verses what I actually saw. White. All white. Towards the end of service, I saw another black. He was sitting in the corner on stage so I couldn't see him seated. He saw me when I went up for communion. His eyes lit up when he served/saw me. I think he's excited to have another black person there. It's okay to be in service with all white people when black, but it's better when it's not that way imo. Even if he and I are the only two, we are no longer alone and maybe others will come. I spoke to this minister after service. His name is Brodrick and he's a Social Work major thinking of entering "the ministry". We chatted for a while at the door leading out of the sanctuary. I stood in line to shake hands on my way out. My meeting with him just happened to not be so brief. I look forward to chatting with him more.

I also spent a while chatting with the Rector (pastor), Father Sean. I mentioned starting Small Town Progressives when I got here to meet people and he told me I was in a good spot to meet other progressives. Yea! And, they're reading Love Wins. You know, the first time I went to Rock Bridge in MO they were talking about a book some Quaker ministers wrote that exclaimed God's saving love for all that pissed off people.... The reading group meets at 9:45-- that's painfully early to me. I wonder how far along the are in the book. Maybe I should join them.

Other people were especially friendly to me when it was time to greet one another during service. One man made me think of my Italian uncle that I don't have. Loved him. I enjoyed my brief talk with a really tall guy that's a student at Freed-Hardman at service's end. I squealed, "Wait! I can't be first in line on the way out. I don't know what to do," as he was in front of me then got out of line, as if waiting on someone. A brief chat followed. He seems to be friends with Broderick.

So it was a good experience. It was socially positive but the question remains, can I be an Episcopal? If I do stay, Monica and I can have different circles... kind of. There were like 60 ppl there. Still, I can not hover around her and find my own way there if I stay. Yes I can.

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