The Road Rises

On Sunday I was “received” into the Episcopal church. Although I have been a life-long Christian, I was raised non-denominational, so I have never been a member of a denomination. Because of my desire to go into ministry and become ordained someday, I’ve been searching for the last few years for a denominational home. With the blessing of the Bishop of South Dakota, I officially became an Episcopalian.

It was quite a day. Soon after the service, the kids’ Christmas pageant was underway, followed by a scrumptious and bountiful lunch. More fun followed when Saint Nicholas showed up to hand out presents to the children. Don’t tell the kids, but I was the man behind the white beard! It was great fun. Kids are so full of life and energy, and they are so appreciative of little things, like getting presents from a man in a silly Saint Nick costume.

So, I am now an Episcopalian. I have deeply appreciated the Episcopal tradition, particularly the rhythm of the liturgical services. The openness of the Episcopal denomination is also a very good fit for me. Although they stand in the long Christian tradition, which affirms the early creeds, as a general rule, the Episcopal church respects the diverse perspectives and journeys that we all take. They have also been one of the first major denominations to affirm and accept Christians with sexual orientations that often put them at odds with churches.

I may not have much time to reflect and blog, because I am hastily packing and preparing for my move to California. Right now I am sending out requests to couchsurf for my arrival into the L.A. area, Santa Monica, to be specific. If you enjoy traveling and appreciate meeting new and diverse people, you really ought to check out, if you have not already heard of it. It is a worldwide network of travelers who host each other on their trips. It is one of the few elements of our modern technological world that truly makes the world a better place.

These next few weeks will also be a time of sadness, as I have to say goodbye to friends and family. I have become surprisingly close to some very wonderful people and places in my short stay here in Huron, South Dakota. As excited as I am about my future plans, I will be sad to leave. I will particularly miss my family, Potter’s Shoe store (where I work), Susan (my friend and boss at Potter’s), my other co-workers, and the good people at Grace Episcopal Church. Yet my pilgrimage must continue. We all walk one step at a time.

Published by

Jonathan Erdman

Writer. In the summers, I live and work in the incredible state of Alaska, in the bush community of McCarthy, as the Executive Director of the Wrangell Mountain Center. When not in McCarthy, you'll typically find me in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California, writing and working with local activists. My primary writing project right now is a novel set in remote bush Alaska, of the magical realism genre wherein an earnest and independent young woman finds a mysterious radio belonging to her grandmother, a device that has paranormal bandwidth and a disturbing ability to mess with one's mental stability.

4 thoughts on “The Road Rises”

  1. Welcome to the Episcopal Church!

    I’m a bit of a hike from Santa Monica, but I can run by the gf if opening up the couch for a few days if you need. I’m rhinoblues on couchsurfing as well.

    Let me know when you make it to town though…I’ll buy you a beer or coffee…give you at least my view of the landscape around LA.


  2. I’ll really miss you too! I’m so glad we could go to the service when you joined the church last Sunday. That was great! I am so happy you are going into ministry. I hope you will be as happy as we have been! God bless you!


  3. Strength and all the best – Transitions always hold out great promise. May this be true for you. As they say in Africa – Hamba Gahle – Go Well.


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