I was pleased today to receive from the new (and regular) attender a thanks regarding the service last week, in that Ibn Sina is well known in Iran (and I had read a passage from the Qur'an). I was given a copy of some verses from the Qur'an. I'm quite honoured.
I then made the point to the former Chair of the congregation that, "I was thinking that in an ordinary church when someone new comes the idea is to conform them to the church."
"But we don't do that," he said in a rush.
I continued, "Whereas here the church is the one that changes to adopt the new person."
He said, "To be inclusive."
I said to an attender not there last week that I had tilted my service in the newcomer's direction, quite deliberately. Our new attender (six times so far, by my calculation, and four weekly) was also the recipient of the flowers that were on display in the service, to adorn the accommodation.
Apparently the choice of the church was almost random, just a look at the symbols outside (chalice and flame rather than a cross), and a desire "to go to somewhere holy".
The service was a well presented one on Hellen Keller, mixed with relevant meditation, prayers and hymns including as derived from authors she knew. So that was hopeful. I don't wish to incriminate by saying that this evening (Anglican) I could go along with much of the sermon, but the rest left me somewhat depressed. I must give up Lent for Lent. It was a Eucharist, much of which I sit out from, and that includes the creed and not standing at the gospel reading. But then I couldn't get a handle on the hymns either. The first one was O Jesus I have promised, which I haven't, didn't and won't, so that left me rather silent, and in others referring to "Jesus alone" (etc.) I just either change the words or leave them out. In any case, what a miserable bunch of lyrics all through. I appreciate the notion that we are comparatively miserable at times and then O Joy, because, after all, winter is like that, before the spring, but let's not heap it on in spades. I'll check to see if there is any comedy on TV tonight; they usually repeat something I've already seen. See, I'm still miserable.
Adrian, I'm glad for you that the Unitarian Church suits you, but I find myself wondering why you continue to attend Anglican services if they make you miserable. Is it that you're in a transition period and that you have ties to people in the Anglican Church that makes it difficult to make the break?
The Lent ones make me miserable. This should be my final Anglican church involvement. I can't see my involvement in another, other than maybe the odd anonymous evensong. There are social connections but I continue to deliver material for the In Depth discussions. Everyone is aware of my position, and they are perfectly capable of providing their own viewpoints.
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