05 August 2005

Losing My Religion - Part I: Growing Up Episcopal

    I am an Anglican, I am P.E.
    Neither High Church, nor Low Church,
    I am Protestant and Catholic and free.
    Not a Presby, nor a Lutheran,
    Nor a Baptist, white with foam!
    I am an Anglican, just one step from Rome;
    I am an Anglican! Via Media! My Home!
      Sung to the tune of God Bless America

This is part of a series that begins here.

For those who don't know, I was born an raised Episcopalian. My family was very active in the church. We attended regularly. I went to church school each week. I was an acolyte, I was in the youth group, I even gave the sermon on Youth Sunday. While in college, I attended a small Lutheran Sunday worship group. I really liked intimate atmosphere of it, and the service is very similar to the Episcopal one. After college, I went back to my family's church, and when Sharon and I were married, it was there.

Our attendancence lapsed somewhat, until the children were born. I had always expected them to be baptized, so they were and we started attending as a family. The girls started going to church school like I did. I went back to serving as an acolyte. Being an acolyte had become very comfortable and familiar to me. The church was, as I'd been going there for for nearly twenty years.

Then I was asked and agreed to run for vestry, the governing body of the parish. Actually I was agreeing to serve on vestry as the elections are rarely contested. It was kind of surprise to be asked, and a little flattering at the time. I'd later learn that they had a lot of trouble finding people who said yes. It's a three year commitment, and managing resources and budget, difficult in any organization, is very challenging in a church.

Yet overall, I was finding it a rewarding experience. I remember when my parents were on vestry. I'd tell them about what was happenning and they'd tell me about what it was like for them. It was sort of like a coming of age for me.

I was a very active adult member of the church I grew up in. But there were issues I would need to face soon.

This is continued in Part II.

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