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choosing our religion.

June 28, 2010

Like many couples we come from mixed religious origins.  Jared was brought up part Jewish (his dad’s side) and part Catholic (his mom’s side) which eventually led to more Catholic/Christian than Jewish to a sort of nothing really religious at all just some spiritual openess.  I was brought up Catholic then had a born again phase that led to a sort of rebellion turned spiritual side when I got more into Yoga.  But in reality – neither of us had a church or any specific feelings about going to one.

I suppose I did have the idea in my head from when I was a little girl that I would get married in a church but as I got older that reality didn’t seem like it would happen.  My experience with religion set a pretty high bar for someone religious to be officiating our wedding.

Then just after we got engaged, my grandmother passed away.  She had gone to the same church since she was little and so I was invited with my father and uncle’s to meet with her pastor to discuss the arrangements.  It’s funny but in my head it was like I was invited to sit at the adult table for the first time.

We met with the pastor, a fire-y head-head with a southern accent and a wise spirit.  I remember my grandmother speaking of her and her ‘progressive’ way that she eventually grew open to.  She had joined the church a few years earlier replacing a retiring pastor who served the church for many years.  When she spoke there was something very accessible and yet cerebral about her – there wasn’t any super holier than thou talk and definitely nothing that made any of us feel uncomfortable.  She explained death in such soothing and close to Buddhist  terms that I started to think — could this person who was so open to things be at the same time a Christian pastor?  It was refreshing.

After the funeral, I asked Jared to come to her service to see if we  like it and then could ask her to marry us.  At the very least, we needed someone and both wanted that person to have meaning.   And just like that we started attending church almost every Sunday joining my father and stepmother and honoring my grandmother.

We joined the church after a year of going to the church and checking off ‘visitor’ in the pew book as we signed in.  There was a just a small ceremony where we stood in front of the congregation, but it was one of the first really significant things we did as a couple. In my mind it was truly significant that I could find some resolution from my past experiences and my current spiritual thirst.

The pastor spoke about the ripple effect in her sermon(even mentioned my grandma) – it made me think about karma in the true sense of how each decision has an effect; to choose wisely what you do, but also to be that ripple.  Joining the church was just a drop of water into the ocean with many far reaching ripples of our future stretching out.  I’m not sure you can always feel that sort of stuff but this Sunday I did.

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