Well, this Blog's slogan has had to change. No longer am I a Libertarian Lutheran Lesbian -- today I was received into the Episcopal Church.
I've changed my intro. Now, as soon as I can figure out how to change the heading...
I was raised a Lutheran, and I will always be beholden to the structure and rectitude of my spiritual upbringing. Lutherans are great people. Most of my family are Lutherans, as well as a good many of my friends. But I have been restless for quite some time, looking around for a spiritual home that better fit my beliefs.
In my twenties, I became a Roman Catholic. For many years, I was at home there. When I came out as a lesbian, I realized its rigidity was due not to being "the only true church," but to human stubbornness and pride. So I moved on. For a time, this meant a return to the Lutheran fold of my youth.
Though I do not believe the Church of Rome to be the only true church, at heart I am still a Catholic. My dissatisfaction in the Lutheran Church was due to more than the brouhaha, in my last congregation, over whether one narrow-minded pastor could visualize it being big enough for two different minority groups -- both of which she wanted to patronize and manipulate. The real root of my dissatisfaction was with Protestantism, period.
Protestant churches are run like businesses. They certainly should be run on sound financial principles, but they are NOT businesses -- they are members of the Body of Christ. Catholic churches are also capable of getting off-track because of money -- that's why the Reformation happened in the first place. But essentially, Catholics of every kind belong to the apostolic body Christ intended the Church to be.
Episcopalians are Reformed Catholics. Though they recognize that the Pope is non-essential, and that the "rock" upon which Christ would build His Church was not Peter the individual, but the faith Peter displayed, they do carry on the apostolic faith tradition.
I will always be indebted to the Roman Catholic Church for nurturing my spiritual growth to the point that I was, at last, able to reconcile my sexual orientation with my faith and come out of the closet. For all the sins their hierarchy has committed toward gays, the inescapable fact is that I had been able to do this not in all my previous years as a Protestant, but only after several years of having been a Catholic.
Now I have truly come home. The more I learn about my new church home, the move I love it. Already I can feel my soul expanding, like a flower in the sunshine. Perhaps the full extent of it goes beyond explaining. All I know is that here is where I belong.
The discipline, the structure, the long and numerous centuries of wisdom, unbroken all the way back to the days of the apostles -- it is mine again. I get to refresh myself in it daily, as if in an envigorating ocean surf. And at last, all those years of wandering have come to an end.
This is, primarily, not a religious blog but a political one. I will, nonetheless, have more to say about my new Church later. For right now, I simply want to absorb what has happened to me, put down stronger roots, and continue to grow.
Labels: The Big Picture