Renewed in the Spirit
I recently went back to church after a year and a half's hiatus. For me, it was the right decision. After taking a long hard look at my spirituality, I noticed that one crucial part of my dilemma was how I felt about fellowship and denominations.
As early as I can remember , I believed in God. My grandmother, Mother Dear, taught me "The Lord's Prayer" as soon as I could recite it. Although, I didn't grow up in a specific church, we attended frequently and I always felt secure in knowing that "God" was close by.
In my spiritual quest, as I have gotten older, I have often questioned the WHYS of my belief. I have been a member of various denominations, searching for the answer. I know that denominations are man made, but I was always puzzled by this ONE question.
"WHY do I believe?"
Church of God in Christ, AME, CME, Church of Christ, Baptist, Holiness, Non Denominational, Interdemonitational, Catholic, and Seventh Day Adventists were just a few of the churches that I either attended or joined. I needed something MORE. The yearning within to connect was as greedy as a newborn looking to nourish from its mother's breast.
My disillusionment with SOME black churches began when I saw growing cliquishness and insular behaviors that prevented or some how kept it's own flock/ministers/pastors from the very people that needed them most.
Attending one of the largest churches in Los Angeles was overwhelming, although I did take some pleasure in worshipping at a "popular" church, I felt swallowed up in its celebrity. The hierachy of leadership was so massive that just saying hello to the Pastor after Sunday's morning service was almost like trying to get an autograph from the Pope.
I decided that I needed a smaller congregation, one that allowed me to feel a part of the experience and not just a spectator. Not that I'm criticizing larger churches, I just know what makes me feel more comfortable. Being in a church that I have a connectedness to the WHOLE church, not just by membership, but by the bounty of works, is what I sought.
I am not moved by denominations. I am moved by faith and spirit, and I attend where my spirit is nurtured and lifted. Returning back to the ONE church where I felt at home and was worth my self prescribed exodus, not from GOD, but from the uncertainty of fellowship.
Now I am looking forward to a fellowship that is interested in RENEWED outreach that extends from the pulpit and the pews to minister to the needs of those that have may fallen in between the cracks. Within the hugs of familiar parishoners and the guidance of a learned Man of God, I once again feel the serenity to explore my feelings and gain the knowledge of the one that has blessed me so.
I'm back home Lord. :)
*photo taken @ my church this past Sunday..... all rights reserved*