I am going to church this morning. Not to do their accounting (although I do plan to work on that this afternoon.) I am going to the church service. Then, later, to a class on How to Be An Episcopalian. I don't think that's the title. I think the title is something like, "Inquirer's Class." That's nice, I'm all about inquiring.
As I mentioned at some point, I was raised sort of Catholic at the behest of a father who didn't believe in God, but did believe, a little, in the Catholic church. And who recognized that in SC the first question someone asks is "What church do you go to?" and you better have an answer. My mother, also an atheist, was raised in Congregationalist, Methodist, and Unitarian churches. She didn't care, as long as we didn't answer the phone on Sunday morning.
I realized a long time ago that although there are some things I like about the Catholic Church --- the Marys, for instance, there are a lot of things I don't like. One of them is the Pope. That, my dears, is a deal breaker in the Catholic Church. You can be a cafeteria Catholic, but you have to take the Pope.
My husband's family is Methodist, and so I tried that. The people are loving and kind. They were (at least at this church) socially active in a way I liked. They have nice music, in a "white people can really ruin gospel" kind of way. But to me, there wasn't enough "there" there. And nobody knows the Marys much, except at Christmas and Easter, when they trot them out like a very very old grandmother or aunt. Nice, but no one is sure how they are related.
I had avoided Episcopalians for a couple of reasons. One reason is that it is a very established church in SC and has been known to attract social climbers. I'm not a social climber. I'm not even a social step-ladder climber. I'm afraid of heights.
The other reason is that my father's family is IRISH Catholic, and that part of me lived in constant civil war with my mother's WASP ancestry. It took me a long time to realize that my ancestors came to America for a reason, and it was not so I could carry on ancient blood feuds in my own body. Screw that. I am what I am (to quote Popeye.)
And so, lead by a good friend, by way of a good job, I have felt welcomed at this church. I am looking around (inquiring, as it were) to find a place where I can share my beliefs and maybe get help clarifying and refining them.
And here we are. I'll keep you posted.