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 couchsurfing.org, 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.