Growing Enthusiasm

I know that I was supposed to resume the Bible study this week and that has already slowed down some. I honestly was starting to feel a little guilty about it. Not now. Not after a helpful, uplifting, and inspiring impromptu meeting with my interim rector, Father John.

Just as a reminder for me whenever I read this down the road, I’m on the search committee to replace our former rector, Father Kevin. We have narrowed the search to a small group of candidates and are now bringing them in for onsite visits and interviews. One candidate was here the other day and one candidate arrived this morning. More will be here next week. Needless to say, it’s been busy. That being said, it has been an uplifting experience for me at a time that I really needed one spiritually. I was starting to feel burned out from everything and this search process has been exactly what I needed.

Each candidate is an incredible person. I feel like my church is in a great place and the future is bright no matter which way we go. Father Kevin got us to an incredible place and a unique position to do some truly amazing things. Now we need someone to push us, challenge us, and get us out of our comfort zones. Each candidate can do that.

Ok, another topic. My conversation with Father John was truly inspiring. I needed it. I’m at a time in my life where I feel like I need to defend my religious views. I feel like I need to defend Christianity. I’m unhappy and frustrated with the current narrative in our society when it comes to Christianity and religion in general. To me it seems like the narrative is one of exclusivity. Almost like the “my way or the highway” approach. It’s like someone is saying “If you don’t believe the way I do, then get out of the way. You can’t be in the club.” I believe that’s utterly ridiculous.

There were many reasons why I stepped back from the Bible study a few months ago. I think one reason was fear. I’ve started to really question things about my faith. The two things I continue to grapple with and wonder about are the immaculate conception and the resurrection. Logically and rationally they make no sense. I know that I need to recognize that accepting those two events is truly a leap of faith. I’m totally fine with that. I just find it interesting that these questions emerged from my Bible study.

I have had experiences with people where I’m certain that if I told them that I’m questioning the immaculate conception and resurrection, they would run me out of their church. So because of that thought I started to feel that perhaps I should pause the Bible study and really think about these questions. I actually want to write more about this for a different space (perhaps the Episcopal Cafe). So I won’t go into it here. I will say that these questions and the current narrative in our country has moved me to what to write about what I think it means to be a Christian. More to come on that.

My point of all of this rambling is that my enthusiasm for resuming the Bible study is growing. I think I took a huge step forward this afternoon. I have an updated schedule that I will try to follow. But I need to remember that my goal is not to just say I finished reading the Bible. My goal is to learn from this experience. My goal is to grow. This is another way to say that it’s not likely I will stick to that schedule. It will change and that is totally fine with me. I now feel the spark to pick it up again. I feel the urge to write about all the things I’ve wanted to discuss the past 6ish months but I’ve been too scared to talk about. This search process has helped me tremendously. Father Kevin’s mentoring at the beginning of this experience has helped. And Father John’s mentoring has helped.

I guess what I’m saying, mostly to myself, is that it’s time to take that “leap of faith.” (I know, kinda cheesy)

2 thoughts on “Growing Enthusiasm

  1. Tom Cooper

    Ian:
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, your doubts and questions––your reflections about your faith and religious beliefs. I have had such moments myself from time-to-time, and while I too am a person of science, I look at the magnificence of this vast universe, and indeed all of creation, and I keep asking the question “why?” I’m not going to tell you that the Bible fully answers that question––it doesn’t, but it does provide answers as to purpose. It provides a foundation for belief. It gives me a reason to believe in something. It grounds me in my faith that despite the fact that I am just a mere atom in the vastness of creation, there is a creator who cares about me. Reading the Bible takes time, reflection, and sharing in good, honest conversation, and I hope there will be more of it. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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