Monday, June 9, 2014


I have not much been to church since taking up residence at Sherwood Cottage. Sundays before Ms. 8 were days I caught up on the work I had let slide during the preceding week and the sleep I had neglected to take. Sundays after have been much the same, with the latter more important because more sleep was lost to being a parent. Now that I am in between terms, not teaching, I am doing other work, and Sundays are sleep days and chore days. And the care of Ms. 8 remains a concern, as it will for some time to come. None leaves much time or effort for church-going, really, and I find that attendance is not so important to me as to induce me to make the time as I know some will say I ought to if I "think it's important."

The issue is that I do not feel called to attend church here. The ringing bells on Sunday mornings do not draw me as they have done in other places. I do not hear in them the voice of the Spirit speaking to me. Nor yet does my wonderful wife; we are not called to worship so much as nagged about it, and that not from the place within us that sent us to seek the communion and Communion with congregations elsewhere. Some have expressed surprise, others annoyance, and they are free to do so, but neither of us sees the need to sit and worship when we do not feel worshipful, or to enter into congregation with those whom we suspect overmuch of being in the pews to be seen in the pews and not because they hear the Spirit calling to them to be there. Both of us have seen too much of that sort of thing in our lives already, and we see no need to start our daughter amid such things so early in her life.

That does not mean, however, that I feel a loss of my faith as faith. That I do not feel connected to the faith communities where I am does not mean that I do not feel connected to the center of my belief. I remain convinced that my work in the classroom is part of my practice of faith, as well as my work on The Work. In reaching out to students to lead them to wisdom through coming to understand stories and the ways in which they encode deeper meanings, and in looking for and deciphering the encryptions myself, I emulate Christ (in part, at least), which emulation is supposed to be the core behavior of the Christianity in which I am embedded. I am increasingly convinced that behavior is the determining factor--conversations with a very good friend and excellent scholar of faith traditions have conduced to it--and so those actions seem to me to suffice insofar as any mortal actions truly suffice for engagement with the divine. But it is a thing I will need to consider more closely than I have yet done, both for myself and for Ms. 8; I need to determine how I will teach her and what...

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