Posted by: littletoe | April 13, 2007

A Little History

I grew up in the Bay Area, east of San Francisco in an atheist/agnostic household. I was exposed to the gospel from an Evangelist perspective through some friends I had made in 1989. I was never comfortable with that kind of worship—they were the kind of people I had made fun of, so I certainly couldn’t become one of them! Yet God, in His mercy, brought me in to fellowship with Christians, gave me a hunger for His Word and I was on my way.

I think my story is really a story of His grace and His ability to work through weak vessels. I was having intense marital problems at the time. I remember praying a “God, if you’re there…” prayer in the shower and deciding to go to church. I was 29 years old and had never been to church (with a couple of exceptions from when I was in grade school.) I went to the Episcopal Church because my best friend had been raised Episcopal. I kept going to that Church because the priest remembered by name on my second visit. I was baptized in July of 1990. Meanwhile, I struggled through my marriage and my daughter was born in 1993 and my son in 1995.

My spiritual growth was slow as anyone who knows anything about the Episcopal Church (especially the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of San Francisco) might imagine although I was kept “safe” because I read the Bible and still had my evangelical friends to keep me from straying too far. I went to that Church until we moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado in 1996.

I found a great church there. It was what I had always hoped existed: an Episcopal Church with an Evangelical flavor, people with hearts for God, worshiping in their beautiful tradition, but not bogged down by it. I was there from 1997 until the summer of 2006. Many things happened during the time I attended there. My son was baptized in 1997, I was divorced in 1999 and I met my current husband there and was re-married in October of 2000.

We were content there, blissfully ignorant and isolated from what was going on at the national level until August 2003, when a non-celibate, homosexual candidate was ordained to be the bishop of New Hampshire. That decision crashed through our corporate denial and our congregation was thrown into turmoil. The vast majority of people there considered themselves orthodox and a few liberals left soon after that. Our priest encouraged us to stay and to fight from within, so we did until the next convention of the Episcopal Church, hoping and praying that they would repent of their actions and we could be one big, happy family again. They not only did not repent, but elected a female bishop to be the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church in the USA. Soon after that, my husband decided it was time to leave.

The congregation had been dwindling in the years between 2003 and 2006, but so many people felt conscience-bound to leave that the church closed on the day of the Feast of St. Francis, its namesake, in October last year. Our family was terribly saddened by this turn of events, but we knew we had to leave and so began the church shopping mission. We decided we were going to visit every liturgical church in the area (except the Catholic Church, of course). That left us with various flavors of the Lutheran Church and the Anglican Church from which to choose. We finally settled on an AMiA church (big apology to the non-Anglicans out there, but it would be terribly lengthy to explain. ) It was a great church but for some reason it just wasn’t clicking with anyone in our family. We decided it was time to go “shopping” again. I felt this tug to the RCC and said to my husband (son of a Lutheran pastor), “You know, there is ONE liturgical church we haven’t visited….” He called a friend from work and we met her at Our Lady of the Pines Catholic Church for Mass the 2nd Sunday in Advent and that’s where we have been worshiping since.

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