After spending tens of thousands of dollars getting a masterâ€™s degree in Theology. After fighting to get ordained even though I am a woman. After 30+ years in the church, and 15 years serving at one particular, belov-ed church. After all of this, I said goodbye to ordained ministry.
Iâ€™ve been talking about that experience in dribs and drabs over the years. Iâ€™ve been encouraging you to leap, and giving you places to land. But Iâ€™ve never really come out and said, â€œHere. This is what we need to do.â€ I was quiet because I was afraid.
Afraid of my disappointed parents.
Afraid of the distant friends telling me they are â€˜worriedâ€™ about me.
Afraid of the debate in the comments.
Iâ€™m not afraid anymore.
It’s time to ReConstruct.
We can curate our faith. We can create a theology that can look people in the eye. We can have practices and beliefs that we donâ€™t have to feel apologetic for when people ask us if we are â€œreligious.â€ We can build a spirituality that fits…maybe something relig-ish?
Anne LamottÂ tells a story in which she laments that she cannot be Jew-ish. She has secular friends who are Jew-ish. They get all the cultural goodies â€“ the traditions, the meals, the lighting of candles â€“ with none of the squishing themselves into to beliefs that donâ€™t really fit. But, she says, she canâ€™t be. Sheâ€™s 100% Christian. There is no â€œish.â€
Me, I am relig-ish. Iâ€™m a spiritual person. I follow the teachings of Jesus about inclusion and justice and care for the poor. I adore ritual. I worship to music. I need a tribe. I am all of these religious things, but until I established my own tribe, I had no place to go. I do not fit anywhere that is currently established.
I am a misfit. A heretic. A rabble-rouser. And I am person of faith. Relig-ish
There are a lot of us out there who are Relig-ish:
- There are folks, like me, who are the fallout of the Emergent Church movement. We are the post-Christians who deconstructed well and carefully, but who never got instructions for reconstructing.
- There are people who live on the fringes of church or temple who stay for the tribe, but struggle with the creed.
- There are those who didnâ€™t grow up religious, but who want something more than yoga at the studio twice a week.
- There are those who fall somewhere betwix and between.
These are my people. I want to gather them. I want to hear their voices. I want us to be together. So we donâ€™t feel afraid. So we know we are not alone. So we can change the world.
Are you ready to move past disappointment and into reconstruction? Will you be brave with me? Â Will you Â join usÂ as we create a new kind of practice together?
I think you are. I know you can. I hope you will.