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Monday, September 22, 2008

Perplexed in Church


In the middle of my "church search" I've become complacent. I found a group of Catholic Lesbians and a Jesuit run Catholic church which seems to welcome their lesbian and gay parishioners, with announcements in the bulletin for our meetings! (We're having a recently ordained woman priest at our next meeting and in yesterdays bulletin there was an announcement in a with a border! If the archbishop finds out we'll all be excommunicated...)
Well, to get to the point, I went to an actual mass, after attending meetings for a year and a half, when my Ohio family visited. It wasn't so bad and all my friends were there. They went to brunch after. So I've been going to mass every once in awhile, maybe twice a month. It's been...pleasant, although not quite what I'm looking for, but part of what I'm looking for is community and that was there. Yesterday I attended mass. One of my group said to me, "What are you doing here?" I was dumbfounded. Then I felt guilty-from my years of Catholic schooling. Then I became defensive-with my whole spiel about discernment and searching and attending other churches. I sat through the beginning of the service unable to concentrate on spiritual things, obsessing on what I perceived to be a slight or comment on not attending every week (like a good little Catholic girl.) I finally passed a note saying "I should have said to you: 'I'm here doing what every one else is doing.'
After the service, my regular group disappeared, some to do tabling in the church, my critic to have coffee with her special friend. I was alone to process my thoughts. It may be time to stop my complacency and find a place that will truly serve my needs with a woman on the altar and no childhood baggage.

7 comments:

Auntie Knickers said...

First, I like the new photo at the top of the page! Second, about the discernment. What would your ideal church service look, sound, feel like? Would it be something like Mass (i.e. familiar, liturgical) or is that immaterial as long as you feel included and valued? That might be something to think about. In my denomination (UCC) we've had lots of former Catholics -- mainly because we gave up Catholic-bashing quite a while back, not because our service is anything at all like Mass. But I know of other former Catholics who are much happier as Lutherans or Episcopalians because the liturgy feeds their souls. Anyway, my prayer and hope is that you will find a church home that suits.

Barbara B. said...

That was a thoughtless question... but I think your note was great.

It is difficult to find a place. (I haven't found one yet. Sigh.)

LittleMary said...

praying for you and all your processing thoughts!

mompriest said...

love the new header photo...the rest of it...wow...weird how one little sentence can spin us into a whole new reality...prayers...

Rev Dr Mom said...

If I may be so bold to suggest...try St. Luke in the Fields in Greenwich Village...progressive inclusive Episcopal, great liturgy, two women on the altar.

Roe said...

I am sad to read of your experience at the church. The first time P and I saw you there we were so happy as we have been every other time we saw you in a pew. Each of us is searching for something in a religious community. Your response was great and know that the rest of us welcome you and also would love to see a woman on the altar...soon soon

seethrough faith said...

What ARE you doing there - it was a loaded question but it perhaps deserves some exploration. What is it that you are looking for? That clarificiation might help.