Here’s a good tip….

I have not been to church in nine months (except for the first 2 weeks of January when the pastor was on vacation and therefore….I didn’t have to see him…)I walked out of the building on Pentecost Sunday when I realized I could no longer stomach listening to a hate-mongering, verbally abusive, misogynist, gay-bashing, lying control freak (and that was on his good days…..).

So I have spent Sunday mornings at cyber-church:  I read the lectionary readings, I listen to a pod-cast sermon, I study some commentaries on the readings, and later in the day I attend bible study with some friends.

It wasn’t “feeding” me, though, and I have become restive.  One of the pastor’s stated objectives was to replace (in some way) our openly gay organist/choir director (“People like that are just gonna burn and have no place mingling with decent folk!!!!”).  He succeeded. The organist gave notice and will be moving to the Episcopal church after Easter.

DH has continued to attend church in support of the organist and choir, but now sees no reason to remain. (He doesn’t like the pastor any more than I do.) So, this Sunday, feeling the need to be IN church, and thinking that DH and I might consider a change,  I attended the Episcopal church just to check it out.  I was warmly greeted at the door, in my pew, at the “peace” and as I left.

More importantly, I heard a sermon about grace, forgiveness and love.  The native Hawaiian rector spoke about how Christ transforms us.  Using the Transfiguration Sunday readings, he interwove a story of Hawaiian wisdom.  The story states that each child is given a bowl of perfect light at birth.  The bowl contains the child’s divine essence.  As the child grows, if s/he hates, causes pain, has doubt, fear or resentment, s/he is to place a stone in the bowl. The stone displaces the light.  Too many stones=no light.

The good news is that the bowl can be tipped, the stones poured out and the light restored.

I left church uplifted, having heard a sermon that told me of God’s love, rather than what a crawling worm I am (well, I am, but I don’t need to hear it EVERY Sunday!)

I haven’t emptied my bowl yet (as the first few lines of this diatribe give evidence), but I know I tipped out a few stones this week.