I finished reading the book I was guided to buy, Leaving Church, in no time. This blog is not going to turn into a discussion on religion, but it's important for me to document my spiritual growth and transition. It will be interesting to look back on these posts a few years from now and see how things have evolved.
I've mentioned before that I am currently unable to find a church that fits my evolving attitude towards God. I have become more spiritual and closer to God in the last year than I have ever been, but I have also grown further away from the religious institution of the church. I have never believed I needed a "middle man" to get to God, and I don't believe I need to go to church every week to show God that I am worthy. However, I do miss being a part of an organization that helps it's own, a group of people that care for and shepherd one another.
Because of this feeling, I had the bright idea to start my own church about 6 months ago. I didn't really want to call it a church per se, but more a "group of like minded people" that would help each other and the community. A fellowship, if you will. I envisioned a different leader each week, so that we would all be equal and there would be no power control issues. I did manage to have the first and only meeting of the Amazing Grace Fellowship, which was attended by neighbors and friends. We did a meditation and healing circle for the people of Haiti (it was right after the earthquake). It went fairly well, although I was nervous most of the time and unsure of what to do. I probably would have been able to continue with the fellowship had I not lost interest/motivation.
This is what I was referring to a few posts ago when I said I often start things and then never follow through. It's why I've been a little skeptical with my new found enthusiasm after the Rhythm of Life Design. I still would like to find an organization to be a part of, I just don't have the motivation/time/desire to be the organizer.
One of my favorite parts of the book, Leaving Church, was the thought of what life could be like if we realized that God lives in the world, not just in church. What could we accomplish if people behaved like they do in church all week, instead of just for one hour a week? What if we encouraged people that being kind to each other is more important than defending our own interpretation of the Bible? What if we realized that everyone deserves to be loved, and then acted that way? Here is the quote from the book that really resonated with me.
"What if people were invited to come (to church) and tell what they already knew of God instead of to learn what they are supposed to believe. What if they were blessed for what they are doing in the world instead of chastened for not doing more at church? What if church felt more like a way station than a destination. What if the church's job was to move people out the door instead of trying to keep them in, by convincing them that God needed them more in the world than in the church?"
Now that's my kind of church. One I could attend, or maybe even help start. I have to admit, writing about this has started my mind thinking again. Maybe my motivation has returned. Although, I also had an idea the other day to start a school, so maybe I'm just floundering around trying to find some direction. It will be interesting to see what, if anything, comes of this and where it leads me.
I'll be on vacation for the better part of the next two weeks, so I probably won't be doing much blogging. Writing has become a significant part of my day because it helps me to relax. I feel centered and grounded when I write, and I really look forward to it. For once in my life I am not excited about getting away from the computer. I will have my journal, but for some reason it seems quicker and easier to pound out my thoughts on the keyboard. Hopefully I'll return to you in two weeks with lots of stories from Scotland about standing stones, islands only accessible by boat, legends and myths etc. I can hardly wait.