Monday, September 1, 2014

On the way to church on a drizzly late August morning and other thoughts

This was one of those days when it should have been easy to sleep in and perhaps spend the morning reading in bed once the cats were fed. The weather outside was darkish, warm and muggy. The light blanket felt snuggly in the cool, air-conditioned bedroom. The temptation was great. But I simply can't not go to church unless there is a dire reason like having a front tooth break off.

Even in the rain Pennsylvania is beautifully green for at least half the year. The roads are bendy and hilly and fun to drive. There are lovely vistas but they were in the fog today. These photos were taken between wiper swipes. I don't know why the photos are all of left bends. The camera sits on the seat beside me until I grab it and try to take a picture. I miss lots of stuff.

I chose St James Memorial Church in Titusville, PA. I'd been there once awhile back. At that time several people said they were happy to see me again. Again? A goodly number said that this morning too. I wonder if an acquaintance who is my height and has similar hair color and wears glasses has been there recently. I am grateful for the welcome even if they are confused. St Augustine in Edinboro is finally used to me being me but it took awhile because of said person. She and I should show up at the same place on the same Sunday once.

I was happy to not feel like I was singing solos this morning. The choir was in the pews because they don't reassemble until next week. Sometimes I think the choir should always be in the pews and move together when necessary just to encourage the others to sing. But maybe the choir are the only ones who sing. Sad if that's true. It wouldn't be the only congregation like that.

Choosing where to go to church is a p.i.t.a. frankly. I enjoy visiting other parishes. I just dislike the decision. In my wanderings I've found several I'd love to be a part of if they weren't so far away. I'm not ready to be tied down yet. I'm not willing to abandon the parish to which I still contribute and am a member. Yet. At the same time I don't feel I can return until some issues are settled. Like their survival. Come December I may change my mind.

I've rarely had the freedom I have now as I take membership seriously and go every week I can. This PresbyLutherPalian has been in church since a very early age nearly always. Even during my athiest years I sang in the choir and crossed my fingers when I had to say the creed. Now there is a certain feeling of glee knowing I don't have to be a certain place at a certain time. Yes, I miss the choir. I really miss being a eucharistic minister/chalice bearer/reader etc. Not enough to recommit yet.

Before I was received in the Episcopal church I just sang and eventually became a eucharistic minister even before Concordat thanks to the bishop. For more than ten years. I intentionally didn't get very involved partly because the church is half an hour away. That status is appealing to me now. There are two churches with decent choirs which are slightly tempting because I miss singing. One is half an hour away, the other about 50 minutes. Do I really want to get tied down again? As involved as I have been, can I just be in the choir and leave it at that? Do I really want to keep having to decide where to go every Sunday? Can I choose one parish to attend regularly without making any long term commitment? Is that fair to the parish? I've been raked over the coals about that before.

Oh well. Tomorrow is Monday so I can forget about it until next weekend. Yea.


Cheryle said...

Oh, Shelley, I feel your indecision! After several years of being away from the church, I am s-l-o-w-l-y starting to go again. I was choir, lay reader, chalice-bearer, acolyte, eucharistic minister, vestry, etc., etc., etc. I'm currently attending a very small parish only 4 miles from my house. It is trying to grow after more than half the congregation split over the usual crap. The current group got to keep the buildings, but are currently being served by a brand-new deacon, with two retired priests handling eucharist. (Josh will be ordained in December, and will than have full responsibility.)

I'm really hesitant to commit - haven't even had my letter transferred - because I know how susceptible I am to "stepping up." But I really, really don't want to be required to be in a certain place at a certain time. Maybe some day I'll want to do that again, but for now I'm happy with my more casual relationship with a parish. But it's hard.

PseudoPiskie said...

Add secretary, treasurer, newsletter editor (I actually wrote and published the entire thing), webmaster, occasional sexton, social coordinator and anything else to your list and you'll know why I walked out in November.

I'm happy to know you understand. Many don't tho my close friends in the church understand all too well.