Monday, January 4, 2010
Starting next Sunday I will be devoting two hours each week to what my church calls the Catechumenate, which is a spiritual journey of discovering what the Christian faith is, what is significant/meaningful about the Episcopal tradition specifically, and setting a trajectory for growing in faith.
I'm both excited and apprehensive about this. Excited because I genuinely want to be a more spiritually mature person, to know what I believe/what is meaningful to me, and to live out of that reality more fully. I am excited about asking questions that I've long been struggling with. These same questions are why I am apprehensive about the catechumenate. And I have a gut feeling these questions will not be resolved, per say, during the next several months - but I am hoping that I will be able to put them on the table, to wrestle with them, and to gain a sense of peace and confidence with the mystery of the unknown. I am hoping to not compare my faith with my friends, and to simply bring it all before the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe,
and to be at peace.
What kind of questions am I struggling with, you might be asking? Well, for starters, so much of what I recite in church on Sunday I don't actually believe. Or, perhaps more accurately, I don't feel that the language conveys the essence of what was originally meant when certain words or phrases were constructed to outline a specific doctrine. The Nicene Creed, for example, is filled with language and concepts about God that I cannot recite with honesty. Christmas carols, which my church sings (almost in excess in my opinion) this time of year, as well as hymns sung all year round, are filled with language and ideas of God and the Christian story that seem fanciful and out of touch with reality. Can I still be a Christian and not believe some of the main tenets of traditional orthodox doctrine? Who was Jesus? Who is God? How do we read and experience the Bible? Ultimately, I am hoping to sort through all of the religious hubbub to find what is real and true and meaningful, and to discard the things that are simply untrue or are a misconception about God, Jesus and what it means to be a follower of Christ. And there is a LOT of hubbub out there.
In other news, I'm in the midst of applying to nursing schools! The journey of learning that started last March with Cell Biology is now in a new and exciting phase. I'm applying to 6 different programs, all here in Portland, which start anywhere between this summer and fall. I also start classes again at PCC tomorrow, which will include the last of three in the Anatomy & Physiology series. I can't believe all the knowledge I've accumulated within the past 7 months. It's been wonderful and amazing and I'm so excited for what's to come.
Thanks for walking on this journey with me, friends.