Largely for the sake of setting down some roots, my former spouse suggested we start going to a nearby church. This is somewhere around 1999. It was a good idea. We’ve fallen in with a largely good community of folk who genuine think of one another. The association has expanded our reach in the neighborhood that if one of my guys is at this person’s house, you know it is an okay thing. We dove in, thinking it would give the kids a foothold on exposure to various faiths and work on building their understanding and tolerance. And it has largely done that.
In recent years, I find myself drifting away. It isn’t doing it for me. There have been plenty of times I have sat in services and while there physically, I’ve gone out for a walk mentally. We’ve made some good friends and it is largely a positive involvement. I have been involved in varying degrees from being a nursery parent to teaching, to serving on the Relgious Education Committee to now serving on the Board of Trustees. I have served on committees before, but I especially hate this one. I was afraid of knowing too much. That fear has come to pass.
For a liberal place that supposedly welcomes all faiths and perspectives, it seems like the Bush adminstration is in charge. We are for freedom of speech until somebody uses it. My daughter had to give a senior address at the youth service yesterday, that had to get approved by the minister. Apparently, three years ago, a senior gave her opinions about some aspects of the church. She was right about pretty much everything, but the resulting hullabaloo has the poor Rev auditing to make sure the kids don’t say anything too disturbing.
That is disturbing. Again, it’s home, but it is a flawed home. The senior members of the congregation can be guilty of being lousy role models at times, rolling eyes at the appearance of an electric guitar & while wondering why the kids fidget at the orchestra appearance. That level of hypocrisy wouldn’t be a big deal, except for the whole church was founded on the idea of being open to all ideas.
Of late, I’ve found Sunday brunch to be a little more spiritually fulfilling. The infighting among committees amazes me. There are turf battles that rage with intensity of groups fighting for the cool tables in the cafeteria. The decisions of the board should be entrenched in the actual business of the church, but instead are swamping in jr. high level gossip. Interesting to be a part of a group that is all about freedom of speech and the exchange of ideas until somebody wants to actually use those freedoms.
One recent example that has been on my mind a lot is a recent discussion of personalities, that a change might be required because “It doesn’t look good.”
Why should we care how it looks if we truly are who we say we are?
Faith shouldn’t feel so hypocritical.