I have actually made the jump back into going to church. The same friend I was helping to decide what to give up for Lent I also helped go back to church after about 6 months by asking to go with her.
She is Episcopalian which is what I was christened as when I was a newbie to the world. I don’t ever remember going to an Episcopalian church when I was little but if I did it would have been before my parents divorced when I was 2 and I don’t remember anything back that far anyway.
This was a very different experience. First we were late which means we snuck in to services but still ended up sitting in the front. Sitting in the front makes it hard to take furious notes without seeming rude. It was ok though because after 5 months in a elementary school gym turned church I was busy taking in the very formal church environment.
Somethings were very familiar from when I was going to Lutheran church back in the 80’s. There were lots of candles, hymnals and the preaching “staff” were formally dressed in what I am going to call gowns.
Somethings that were different was they had women participating in more that just the choir. Of the people carrying the candles (not sure of the name) one was a woman and the Deacon is also a woman.
Unlike when I attended Oasis last year this was very formal. The Deacon assured me since it was the first Sunday of Lent it was more formal than normal but I think their less formal is still way more formal than a non-denominational church like Oasis. There was a lot of standing and sitting and participation. The up and down reminded me of not only Lutherans but also Mormons. Everytime you sing you have to stand up. Oasis stood up during song but singing only happened at the beginning and end.
The service was also very formal with entire readings from the bible and less of the comparing it to actual life. I was having a hard time hearing (and I was distracted by looking around) so all I really caught was a metaphor about how God is that nosy guest who comes over and takes themselves on a tour of your house including all the rooms you don’t want people seeing. I got the message which was good and I wasn’t offended. Though of course the Atheist in me thinks God is a creeper always watching you.
I was impressed with the how everyone seemed to be open to everyone else. They had a gay couple, had people in jeans with tattoos, families and the elderly. I like when a church actually practices most of what they preach.
So my first Sunday opinion is it’s Catholic Lite. All the taste of the Catholics with less of the judgements.