My new hair cut also feels like a parallel to joining the Episcopal Church. A new step into embracing the both/and of life. Tomorrow I will be confirmed & I wanted to share some thoughts.
Part of the reason I am joining the Episcopal Church is that it is affirming of women and LGBTQIA identities. It feels like a place where I could more fully step into my gifts, and encourage my wholeness. I am part of a parish, that recognizes that racism must be condemned in all its forms, and there is dialogue happening.
Part of the reason I am joining the Episcopal Church is ancestral. My ancestors from my dad’s side came to America in the 1600’s and settled in Connecticut and Massachusetts, some with the congregational church, some with the Church of England. I both resonate with the solitude that the Episcopal church enacts (and in this way I feel like I connect to my ancestors) & to not do the deep work of lamenting colonization, stripping the indigenous peoples of their land and culture feels like a spiritual bypass for me.
Part of the reason I am joining the Episcopal church is accountability. I could easily become a Buddhist, for so much of my being resonates with the deeply contemplative aspects of Buddhism. If I made that decision, it wouldn’t be bad or wrong. However, there would be a disconnect for me when it comes to ancestral healing-when it comes to healing from the shame of being white, of having ancestors that were colonizers & slave-holders, and had religious reasons for these actions. To heal from this ancestral trauma and pain, it intuitively feels right for me to be in a similar tradition. To be able to appreciate and critique/challenge is a both/and I know that I must be able to lean into.
Part of the reason I am joining the Episcopal church, particular to the Diocese of Indianapolis, is that I am saying a wholehearted “yes” to being under the leadership of a black female bishop. I didn’t know if I was going to join the Episcopal church, until the bishop visited my parish in February. The wisdom, strength, passion & love of Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows inspires me.
Part of the reason I am joining the Episcopal church is that I still have a lot of questions. And I must live into these questions, continuing to accept myself, and seeing how this acceptance of self translates into dignifying friendship and service.
My body & intuition have played a much bigger role in this decision for me than my mind. I did attend an Inquirier’s class & had to do a lot of reading! But it’s more about intuitively knowing that I must lean into the tension of both/and. To say yes, and commit to a beautiful & yet flawed institution, with my doubts and questions. To be one of the few young, unmarried persons in a suburban parish. To maybe have the courage to start something new. To enter into formal prayers that I may or may not believe wholeheartedly. To say yes to helping and paying attention to the sick, to the older members of the congregation. To bridge relationships across age. To not need to know how everything fits together. All will be well.