Twice each week. Three times if you count choir practice.
|Henry plays handbells|
Hurtful as these experiences were, in the long view I realize that they made me who I am today. Given no other other option, I embarked on independent study. Yes, it involved decades of church-hopping but it also involved a lot of reading and discernment. For many years, more than I care to admit, I was Goldilocks trying on one denomination after another. Too strict, too universal. Too exclusive, too existential. I'd read Statements of Belief, then attend services for several months. Most of the time, no one--not a soul noticed me. And that was okay especially if the church didn't feel like a good fit but sometimes it made me wonder why I even bothered worshiping in public. Anne Lamott kept me company on my journey and other authors helped as well.
And now we've come full circle. My sons attend a Catholic elementary school. I pay twice as much as the parishoners and both boys are excluded from some rituals. But when Sunday rolls around, they are included in all that is our small United Church of Christ community. This past weekend, as I joined the communion procession, I felt Henry's hands on my back allowing me to guide him up to the altar. I've rarely felt so complete as I did in that moment.