Wednesday, July 31, 1996

Church Search, Week 12

(July 28) - Week 12 - St. Francis' Episcopal (my third visit)

I really like St. Francis' so I went back this week. I am narrowing the search down. I still have to check out Cornerstone and St. Dominic's Catholic.

St. Francis used pink wine and pita bread for the Eucharist. They have some pageantry but not a lot. The people make up for it.

Tuesday, July 30, 1996

poem: Full Moon

[About wanting to go back to Paganism.]

Full Moon
Tonight, they gather.
In mountains and valleys, cities and hamlets.
In groves and living rooms and bedrooms,
In groups and couples and alone,
In cloaks and street clothes and no clothes.
Meditating and dancing,
Accepting and weaving,
Planting and reaping,
They gather.

Tonight, they gather.
I can see it so clearly,
As clearly as sunlight on the land.
I long,
But may not join them.
The moon rises,
It's light causes me to cry out for the known,
A shelter from all else,
A bastion against an unknown God Who would
Not remain such.

Yet I know they gather,
Yes, they gather,
Tonight, they gather.

My blood boils,
I want to go home.
These people are mine,
Yet this new God cries out, calls me.
In His longing I sense Love,
A Love that wants return.
I cannot go to my people.

Sunday, July 21, 1996

Church Search, Week 11

Week 11: Episcopal Church of the Incarnation

I came to this church a few weeks ago, but I came back this time for 10 a.m. services. (I went to 8 a.m. last time, but you can't get a flavor for the music, people, and energy level until you go to the later service.) This is one of on;y two churches that has followed up my visit with anything. (After my last visit, I received a short note.)

The Eucharist was pita bread and red wine. I thought pita bread worked well because it has a slight bitter flavor to it.

Sunday, July 14, 1996

Church Search, Week 10

Week 10: Episcopal Church of the Advent of Christ the King

Very Catholic, complete with incense and everything. The communion wafers looked Catholic, too. We sang a hymn that someone had written new words to old music. It was Beethoven's "Ode to Joy."

I know the Holy Spirit exists because I have seen Him at work in my life. Words like peace and joy are hard to define and find in my life, but my reaction to the demands at work underwent a sudden and dramatic change, at least partly unconscious. What I have tried to learn and do for years - to "just do it" - became a sudden, wonderful reality. I had tried to do it on my own for years and failed. It was only the Holy Spirit who did this for me. I only hope the change is permanent.

Monday, July 08, 1996

Moving away from Wicca

Talked to Eleanor on the phone tonight and got my first real confirmation that there have been positive changes in my life over the past months. She gave a concrete example - complaining. She said that normally I would have complained to her endlessly about having to get up at 5 a.m., but that when we were out looking at the room last Sunday night I didn't complain. And she's right. I didn't. I did just state matter-of-factly that it had to be done. This is the first time really that someone has said I've changed. It felt really good to get outside confirmation because sometimes I can't see the forest for the trees.

At work tonight I was working with the Chinese guy I only work with once a week. He was being negative, complaining about work that Jerry or Tylor told him to do that he thought was not our job. (I later found out most of it is our job.) I told him it's our job. Later I was talking to Tylor to find out what he wanted done. He wanted the floor spot mopped for scuff marks and the cardboard taken down for recycling. It was slow so I left the Chinese guy in the dishroom and went to do these jobs. The funny thing is, something like this - Tylor telling me to do unexpected work, even if it was a slow night - would have really upset me. But it didn't phase me at all. I just stood there and said okay and accepted it. This is not like me. What is happening? Also, on the Chinese guy tonight I saw a mirror of myself, how I used to be. What is going on that I have not been like that lately?

Found out today I'm not supposed to have my Walkman at work. The Chinese guy got yelled at by Jerry for having his yesterday. I managed to sneak mine around him all day. Being able to listen made work a lot easier.

I took off my pentagram today, but it wasn't my choice. Just before work today, my pentagram and cross necklace chain broke. I decided to repair it when I got home. I wrapped it in tissue paper before leaving for home. When I got home it was hopelessly tangles. I spent quite a bit of time untangling it. In the middle, frustrated, I told God that if I got it untangles I wouldn't put the pentagram back on. So when I got it untangled and fixed the break, I left the pentagram off. The cross I'm still wearing. I paid good money for it and it was the cross I bought the day after I became a Christian. So I am wearing two crosses and no pentagrams. I think I will still carry the pentagram in my pocket, though. I only said I wouldn't put it back on the chain.

I also took down the little Brigid wall altar I had. This was more out of sheer joy and thankfulness for the good changes God has wrought in me. I keep wondering, "What if I change back? What if these changes aren't permanent?", but this is me questioning in my human weakness and/or demons. These questions are not from God. No doubt between the wall altar and the necklace this will put me under pressure. The enemy doesn't like it when I take steps toward God. Even praying seems to bring ramifications. This is more than praying. It's just that as I see God working in my life I have to give Him more because He's giving me more. He's trying to work me to the point of giving Him 100%. That's still a ways off. He's been getting maybe 80% so far.

Sunday, July 07, 1996

Church Search, Week 9

Week 9: Vineyard Christian Fellowship

It hit me during church today why I had never sensed the Holy Spirit in a church service before, and felt Him as the concert (besides that, I haven't been to church in a long time {up until 3 months ago}). It's that in churches I was always closed to the Holy Spirit. At the concert I didn't put any walls up. I didn't think of it really as a worship service, so I didn't feel the need to wall myself off. And by remaining open/being open to the music, I left a space to feel God's presence.

Monday, July 01, 1996

Church Search, Week 8

Week 8: Episcopal Church of the Incarnation - 8 a.m.; Saint Francis' - 10 a.m.

I'll have to go back to the Church of the Incarnation for 10 a.m. services. There were only about 10 people and it was very low energy. Someone at St. Francis' recommended the Episcopal Church of the Advent as being high in ritual. I might check that place out.

Well, I found out today I have to work Friday night so I can't go to taize with Paul. (Sigh.) Maybe next month - or year.

IV is tonight. I sure don't feel like praising God, but it's the right thing to do, right? Most of our time is spent watching the movie anyway. That'll be okay.