I actually wrote this a few months ago but in this season of advent I’m going to go ahead and post it.
I went to church alone today. St. Michael’s Episcopal Cathedral. It’s a beautiful cathedral with high ceilings, wooden beams arching across the room, and a dome above the altar painted in the softest blue as if to make you think you were amongst the clouds. The choir sits on a second level behind the congregation, and as the hymns fill the sanctuary I feel the presence of God.
I have recently wanted to return to attending church regularly. I grew up Presbyterian attending the 1st Presbyterian Church of Monterey in California. Jay Bartow served as pastor there my entire years of attendance and even conducted the ceremonies of my baptism and marriage. Like so many, I fell away from the church, God, praying. But I consider myself to have always maintained a faith. It’s deep within me, something I can’t always understand. Something I don’t really talk about. But I know it’s there.
Derek grew up Catholic. Years ago, as we began searching for churches together Episcopal churches became a perfect in between. It maintains the liturgy and traditions of the Catholic church but is more relaxed as most protestant faiths tend to be. However, as supportive as Derek has been with trying to attend with me, in his words he “doesn’t feel it.” He feels like an imposter because he’s unsure of his faith. I understand this but it’s hard to accept.
So, we’ve decided to split up the ranks. I will be attending church with Hannah every week (she didn’t go this week because she was sick) and Derek will be at home with Simon. Derek will attend now and then. This won’t be the permanent plan since I feel it’s important to raise both our children among faith, but it will do for now.
The gentle encouragement of my parents and brother help me face it. I’m scared, worried, and timid. My faith is not strong but I can feel God gently urging me on.