These days I go to church. I am a church goer. It is an unexpected thing that happened to me. It was something that I would have scoffed at. But turning fifty, it is not for the weak and I was looking for more. And I still wonder at it all, the church, the teachings, the believing and I don’t know where I stand on it. Despite that, I continue to go. And I like to go. And I want to go. The priest at my church is an interesting guy. He is young (at least to fifty year old me – although he is a few years older than I am). He is from Hawaii and many of his sermons weave in his past, growing up on Guam, his family on the Big Island and native Hawaiian culture and history. And his sermons inevitably touch me in some way. Make me think about my life. The choices I have made. The choices that I make daily.
Part of last week’s sermon was that we, as parishioners, as members of our church, are the ones responsible for bringing in more people. For increasing the numbers of the congregation. We were told that this could come about as others see us as being contributing members to our community. Being examples. Not necessarily proselytizing (as an aside, I spelled that correctly on the first try). I was not sure how I felt about that. I am still new to this whole church thing. I feel like I am still feeling my way around the organized religion thing. It seems like a good fit but I’m still not sure. So for me, I don’t know how I feel about asking anyone to join me at church.
But, I will say this. My church, the Cathedral of St. Andrew is beautiful. I spent part of Sunday afternoon there and the way that the sun shines in through the stained glass is amazing. I was there mostly alone with the occasional tourist coming through. It was peaceful and lovely. If you are looking for a peaceful and lovely space, I would recommend my church. If that sounds vaguely creepy, I would understand.
I also understand that mass can be, well, intimidating. Sometimes taking communion feels like an exercise in peer pressure. So I could see why it might be hard to take the step to go to mass. I’ve gone to other churches and I get kind of worked up if I’m not sure what is going to happen. Like if I’m not sure that I should be kneeling or standing. Once I passed out in church in Florida when I was young because I was so worked up. I strive to not have that happen again.
So, the church experience that I am offering up is Evensong. It is this coming Sunday, October 22nd at 5:30 at the Cathedral at St. Andrew. It is basically a sung mass. There is a choir. Have I mentioned that the cathedral is beautiful? And that the cathedral is practically dripping with history? You can feel it when you are there. There is no communion which is a plus if you do not think that you are ready to take that step. I was not ready for some time. There is also no sermon, which to me, is a minus because, well, Father Moki’s sermons rock. But if you are looking for a sense of peace in your life, come to the cathedral. If you are looking to start your week off with singing and serenity, come to the cathedral. I will be there. I will be there because I love the cathedral. I will be there because I always feel a sense of peace when I am there. And if you want to be there, I will sit with you. If you want to be there but haven’t set foot in a church in many years and fear you may spontaneously combust upon entry, I will walk in with you (if this did not happen to me, it won’t happen to you). If you want to be there but don’t have anyone to go with, I will wait for you outside. If you want to go but don’t want anyone to know, I won’t tell anyone. If you don’t want to go, I won’t tell anyone. But I will be there. Somewhere. Soaking it in. And maybe I’ll see you there.