I went to church today. For the first time in ages. Two of them, actually. It really was quite enjoyable.
My primary church of membership, a United Church of Christ church, recently began having two services - one at 8:30am and one at 11:00am. The content is mostly identical - the membership has just grown so much, that they had to create a second service in order to make it easier for everyone to fit.
Interestingly, the themes for the services mirrored things I've had on my mind lately, including the subject of focus in my previous blog post.
At the first service I attended, the theme focused on was "Hurry Up and Wait", and being patient. Something I always struggle with.
After the service, I attended the Religious Education class, which is held between the 8:30 and 11:00 service. Interestingly enough, they began a DVD discussion series by author Kathleen Norris. Kathleen was raised Christian, left the faith for a period of time, and then re-converted with a new understanding of the faith. The topic of today's session was "Belief". She made a point that I hadn't thought about before - how belief is a daily process, rather than static, and is not the same thing as "thinking". Our beliefs constantly change and are being evaluated. They drive everything about us in some way or another. We talked about our beliefs which give our lives meaning, and it was even asked of us, what aspects from other faith traditions have inspired us?
After that, I went a couple of blocks over to the Unitarian church and attended their 11:00am service. The focus was on Robert Ingersoll's writings, and the importance of being "happy" as being the Only Good, the ultimate goal in life, no matter what your religious belief is. Which resonates with me, because happiness, I think, really is the ultimate goal, as even if we subscribe to a faith which focuses on helping others and self-sacrifice, if we didn't get some kind of pleasure from it, we wouldn't do it.
As I'm in a phase of reassessing where I am spiritually (which, after what I learned in Religious Ed today, is kind of a lifelong process I suppose), I highly enjoyed attending both the UCC and Unitarian churches. For the moment, I think I'll try to make it a regular activity. Between church(es) and getting back into my daily spiritual readings (which I'll perhaps elaborate on over the next few blog posts), maybe I can get a spiritual focus back into my life.