Archive for the ‘church’ Category

everything is fine, nothing is ruined.

24 March 2011

So, it’s been a while since I posted anything. I am in a much better place now than I was before spring break. It seems I might have some hope after all. Classes are tough still and I procrastinate way too much, but I’m keeping my grades good enough.

Churches, temples and the one mosque have been… varied to say the least. From welcoming and liturgically nice to liturgically horrible and downright uncomfortable and a mix in between as well. A few places have ended up on my “Never again!” list while I’ve been to some more than once or twice as well. I know a few people were routing for a church hopping blog, I really don’t see that happening for a number of reasons. One being I’m not sure I have the time and energy, another reason is that many of my thoughts on these things are rather private and so highly subjective to my own rather unfair criticisms that I don’t think it would do much good. Finally, it’s just rude to randomly show up somewhere and then write possibly mean things about them on the internet. Even if I think their behavior towards me was less than ideal.

Though I might try some details/names/dates changed HIPAA-esque modified stories if something comes up that is too good to pass on. Though I must say, I’m not all that good at changing things. I like my stories true.

Oh, as a side note, I was asked if I was Muslim today.


temple thoughts

22 January 2011

So, I got a phone call today from the hospital I worked at before I started nursing school. The hospital I officially turned in my badge in about three weeks ago because I don’t work there anymore. “dana, i was wondering if you would be able to come in to work any part of tonight.” uh… no.

And then I went to the reform temple that’s around the corner from me. They were doing a Tu B’Shavat Seder and there were some awkward moments before I went in to the hall, but it ended up being okay. Not necessarily the style I really prefer but okay. Okay that’s not true, I wasn’t a big fan. I didn’t care for their musical settings because I prefer not having instruments. It was a little too happy-clappy guitar-hippy for me.

This is all an aside from my main point. We’re sitting at tables, and this guy next to me is middle aged and kinda creeping me out. Making bad puns with date-the-fruit, you know? Anyway, about three-quarters the way through this service, he turns to me and asks
“Are you from?”
My gut reaction is “Am I from where?
And he clarified “Are you frum?
I said “No.” and held back the “I’m not even Jewish!”

I wonder about places that claim to be “open to everyone” or “open to people of all levels of observance” I don’t think it’s practical or possible, really. If you’re super-traditional religiously speaking, you’re going to want people to be moving towards your way of thought. And if you are super-liberal people in that conservative/traditional path are not going to be comfortable at your service. That’s not wrong or bad, I don’t think. I just is…

Wednesday Night

19 January 2011

So, I fail at being a normal human being. I think I need remedial lessons on how to talk to clergy.

I decided to go to the local Episcopal church this evening for Eucharist. After the service the minister came up to me and tried to have a conversation, but I apparently am pretty damn good at shutting those things down. She asked where I was from, and I told her. Then she asked if I went to the Episcopal church there and I said something along the lines of, “No. … Well, I went a few times, but I didn’t much care for it there… You know?” And it was apparent she did NOT know.

Then another man piped up with “Isn’t that were Trinity Episcopal is?” “No, actually there is ” and I list off the four Episcopal churches I know are there. Which is apparently an odd answer. Whatevs.

And from there, it just went downhill. In retrospect, I should have mentioned that I’d gone to the Episcopal church for a long time before moving to Springfield and that none of the ones there were a good “fit” for me. Whatever that means. But it was fairly obvious I had been to an Episcopal service before, was

random things i’ll probably delete when i get some sleep

8 December 2010

You know those days when you hate yourself? It’s like you dwell on every little thing you said and did in the past decade and how it was all terrible? Yeah. Welcome to my day — well night but now going into the day. Now I can’t sleep. Go figure.

I should probably read some Psalms. But that’ll probably screw me all up too. Dear Jesus: SAY WHA? srsly.

I know, I know, that one of you who’s all “dana, is this really jesus’ fault?” i say, “well probably not but i’m still pissed about the whole Betty thing, which really was his fault. and totally not related to this at all.

While I’m taking out my illogically-related-to-the-trinity things out, Dear Holy Spirit: Please be a little more OBVIOUS about things you say to your people. Cause a lot of people say you told them shit, and it’s kinda hard to reconcile. All I’m sayin’ is a little *raises hand* “you know, I really DIDN’T speak to that crazy televangelist” I’d be like more cool with you as a general idea. So, when you get on that, give me a heads up with everyone else.

Cause you know I tend to be the last to know shit. Also, to the Father part: can we work on people skillz? Mine in particular, but your whole “christian” people could use a little of that action.

One final thing for the whole Trinity: Thanks for this semester almost being over. And thanks for making it look like this whole “nursing school” thing might just work out. I’m beginning to believe it’s really going to happen. I’ll totally believe it when I move. Though I won’t ever trust it’s real until I have that BSN in hand.

This totally doesn’t make any sense.

16 November 2010

So, it’s not like I intentionally try to misrepresent myself, but I think often my actions don’t translate well into “normal people speak.” I linger too long in churches. Hell, the fact that I am a 27 year old female with no children and go to church at all is enough to put me in the “weird” category, add in this reluctance to move from my pew or space in the church for much too long after the service probably puts me into “creepy weird” and for those churches and congregations where I really would like to attempt to semi-integrate myself, I try to hang out afterward and I just don’t have the communication skills to bring me out of “that creepy weird quiet girl who hangs out here.”

Two congregations I think of in particular. Both of which I kinda love. Neither of which I have any background in previously. Both of which have accepted me as they can. I also get the distinct feeling that the members of both expect that, by my continued presence, I want to become a member. People from both congregations have asked me if I am attending or plan to attend the classes for introductory preparation to “convert” if you will. I am not. At the time I said that I couldn’t commit to going every week because of my work schedule. Which is true. More true is that I’m not sure I would go even if my schedule allowed. Because I honestly have no desire to commit to any one denomination, or apparently even religion.

I have a question though. Am I being dishonest to these congregations by showing up? I never represented myself as anyone other than a wanderer. I don’t think I have it in me to say to any of the congregants, “Sorry, I really have no intention of converting at this point.” Though I’ve also never said “I’m a catechumen/undergoing conversion.” I just really like the way they pray.

My disdain for the term “convert” can be continued at another time.

church break

9 November 2010

Sometimes, I take a break from church. and churches. And I’m doing it again this week. I am TIRED. and confused. and really really… confused. So, I’m breaking for a while. No Orthodox or Episcopal or any other Christian services for the week. Exception for Sunday, where I may go to St. James. Or not. Depending. That’s the plan.

I will probably make it out to the Temple on Friday night because I have Thursday/Friday off so I will be well rested. I might make it to Juma’a prayers at the Mosque Friday noonish, but that’s not for sure. Oh. I need to figure out if there is a time change because of the end of DST.

Okay, this is a little rambley. Suffice to say I’m tired. And confused. And really lost. Or wandery. I’ve heard all who wander are not lost. I’m not sure that’s applicable to me. Though honestly, who wouldn’t want it to be? I know who I am and what I believe (NOOOOOO protestant hymn!) Yeah, that’s totally not me.

Goodnight all.

why is everybody always chasing we?

7 October 2010

Dear Matisyahu,
I love you. I’m sorry I listened to those naysayers commenting on “Youth” It’s fantastic.
❤ dana.

Jerusalem, if I forget you, let my right hand forget what it’s supposed to do.

So, on a completely different note: I started this book by Stephen Prothero, Religious Literacy and it has me thinking about my own religious literacy. I have a good general knowledge of world religions, and I remember stuff from when I was a kid about Bible stories. But some people, man! They really know their Bible! I have a good overview of it, but I can’t quote anything at length. (I can make up faux psalms though).

Anyway, I know when Isaac said he read most of the Bible, I think he finished it up with “and I’ll never do that again” but, I think once again, I am resolved to read … some more of it. at least. We’ll see.


21 August 2010

So, I went to Temple today. Or Friday night, which might be today. Whatever. It was different. And yet, at the same time very familiar.

Reading psalms. Words that are very familiar to me, putting them in a new light. An alter. Carrying the Torah around the room. People kissing it, or touching their seder to it and kissing that. Kissing things, it’s becoming familiar.

Chanting. At times very bad Hebrew chanting. Bad chanting is something I’m familiar with, and in certain ways truly love, along with its sister, bad singing. But there were parts where the congregation was more familiar and raised its voice together. Very lovely.

I think I’m going to add it to my list of places I go regularly, as my work schedule allows. I wonder what this makes me.

well, i didn’t expect that!

1 June 2010

Okay people. I’m terribly afraid my church hopping, for the time being is on hiatus. I’ve apparently become enamored enough with a church to abandon most of my self imposed (highly ridiculous) rules I never quite articulated, but somehow pretty much followed when going to new churches.

It’s a pretty fantastic church. : )

i don’t think it works like that.

26 May 2010

So, It has recently come to my attention that maybe the (Catholic) daily mass service I have gone to for the past couple of months I’ve been here is not a … ‘good fit’ for me. And after service on Tuesday, all I have to say is, well inappropriate for this blog. And I give myself a lot of leeway when it comes to saying inappropriate things here. So I’m moving on. And looking forward.

I hope I can use the time I would have spent at daily mass doing a more personal Morning Prayer. It is much easier to sit back and let other people read aloud to me. It is much more challenging to sit down with the scriptures and read them myself. It’s also incredibly uncomfortable because most of the time I feel it just doesn’t make much sense.

*sigh* I wish I understood church people.
I take it back.
I’m glad I don’t understand church people.