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Sunday, August 4, 2002

Rainbows and dancing

I rode home this evening just ahead of the rain. The first drops hit as I got into the parking lot. It looked like I was going to get wet on my way to church since the sky was already black. I went to Mass for the Third Millenium (M3M) at the Grace St Paul Episcopal Church. I had been to it a few years ago but I was going into atheism then, more out of lack of anywhere else to go, now I'm looking for spirituality but without the god of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. I miss church so much, but I can't say I believe in a god that I don't believe in.

It was great. We sang a little and we danced a little (barefoot, cool!) and did the usual things you do in an episcopal mass. There was a reading from the new testament and from hindu writings and from Julian of Norwich, a 12th-13th century anchoress. The eucharist was informal and comforting. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and as I was unlocking my bike, looked up and saw a rainbow all the way across the sky. Gorgeous!

Then I pedaled like crazy to get home before the rain but it was fun since it was cool enough that I felt like I had so much energy, plus I was basically going downhill.

Coincidentally, I also finished reading "A New Christianity for a New World" by Bishop John Shelby Spong. I had already planned to go to the M3M when I picked up the book at the library so it was interesting how he had many of the same ideas I've had. He also does not believe in a god out there but in a god that is the source of life and love and is the love we have, not some punitive god out there who is judging us. He also does not want to leave the church but has a problem with a lot of the words and phrases and expressions that are used in the liturgy. Excellent book that has given me a lot to think about.

The good churches do so much good for the members and for the community. The bad churches are just bad and are too busy pursuing their own self-righteousness and hate, but the good churches just can't be replaced in our society. It would be nice if there were secular replacements as there are so many people who aren't comfortable in a church and they shouldn't have to feel like they should be but there are so few secular groups that are doing the community services that churches do plus give people a community in our fractured world.

Rachel Aschmann 2002.
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