2010 spiritual path letter

Each year I send out a spiritual path letter to select friends along with our Christmas card. If you've been following my blog this year, you know what I'm going to say, and what is here will be old news. Still, I wanted to share it with you because I think it brings together in one place my spiritual evolution over the past several months.

1 Advent 2010

I ended last year’s spiritual path letter by saying “So, perhaps, for me, 2010 involves continuing to place emphasis on the value and necessity of community.”

So it has been. But not in the manner I expected when I wrote that.

I had resisted Facebook for a very long time, but finally succumbed in mid-2009. Two of my first Facebook friends were Episcopal clergy from my All Saints’ days. They had a lot of Episcopal friends, mostly clergy, and the number of Episcopal Facebook friends I had increased, it seemed, exponentially. Seeing posts from all of these people on an ongoing basis made me realize how much I missed the Episcopal Church.

I should probably remind you how I ended up in a Lutheran church in the first place. After moving to Gilroy I commuted to All Saints’ for a year before I realized that I couldn’t keep that up. The Episcopal church in Gilroy was way too conservative for me, and the Morgan Hill church was going through a rough patch and was without a rector. I spent a year at St. Stephen’s in-the-Field in South San Jose, but that didn’t work out for reasons I won’t go into here. So I was looking and found Good Shepherd, which was sympathetic to Episcopalians in my predicament and had a wonderful organ and a fine organist. I was happy there for a long time.

But, as so often happens, a confluence of events precipitated change. There was some dissention going on at Good Shepherd which ultimately prompted bringing in a consultant. And there was the ubiquitous presence on Facebook of all my Episcopal friends.

I knew that things had turned around at St. John the Divine in Morgan Hill, and when I could steal a Sunday away from my responsibilities at Good Shepherd I would visit there. I loved what I experienced, and was so happy to be back in Episcopal worship. I made the change permanent at the end of August.

I would like to say that it was simply a matter of wanting to be back in the Episcopal church, and not an issue of getting away from what was happening at Good Shepherd. But both Terry and my spiritual director saw a noticeable change in my demeanor after making that decision. And, I have to admit that I even noticed the change myself. I realized that on Saturday evening I was thinking, “I get to go to church tomorrow,” and not “I have to go to church tomorrow.” In retrospect, what I wrote here last year, “Often I’d like to stay in bed on Sunday morning and pull the covers over my head, and then have my own personal quiet devotional time” might have served as an early warning. But then hindsight is…

 So I’m back in the Episcopal church and am delighted about it. Looking forward to a year of spiritual insight and unfoldment.

 A joyous and happy Advent and Christmas to you!

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