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26 February 2009 @ 01:59 am
Hi folks, I'm new here. I noticed there's not been much posting for a long time, but this looks like a really cool community that could be really encouraging to me, at least, so. :)

I'm Jenn, I'm 44, I live in rural Texas with my husband and three of our six kids (4 his, 2 mine, all ours, as we like to put it). I have journeyed through many faith paths, and for now, the United Methodist approach seems to be what works for me.

It's very weird being a liberal Christian in rural Texas. We live in a town of 579 registered voters, and my husband and I and one of our friends are the only registered Democrats in the entire town. But yet these very conservative people accept us just as we are, it's very cool.

Anyways, I wanted to share my thoughts on my first Lent in ten years as a non-Catholic.

Today was my first Ash Wednesday as a non-Catholic. Did it feel any different?

No, it didn't. I thought that it would, but it was just as deep and meaningful as last year in the Catholic church.

We heard a sermon by Nancy DiMarco (Rocky is out of town with his wife, visiting both sets of their parents) about disciplining ourselves for prayer and reflection during Lent and always. It was a very interesting sermon, and I must ask her for a copy of it.

We did a responsorial psalm, the standard 51st. I wasn't crazy about the musical setting for that one, I far prefer this (which is also probably my all time favorite worship song, since I first heard it in 1980):

But choice of music isn't the point. The point is in the message, which is awareness of my own sins, confessing them to God, and true repentance.

This will be the first Lent in nearly ten years that I have not gone to confession with a priest. That will be strange. I still am not fully comfortable with the idea that I don't need a priest to absolve me of my sin, that God Himself does that, has, in fact, already done that. It comes down to learning to trust in God, not a church organization.

This Lenten season it is my intention to deepen my understanding of God and what He wills for me. To deepen my relationship with Him through prayer and study of my Bible. To examine myself deeply, truly repent of my sins both past and present, and seek forgiveness for all of it. To start fresh and clean.

That will be my Lenten sacrifice. I'm not giving up something tangible. I'm giving up taking it all for granted, instead.

May this Lent bring everybody closer to God.

20 October 2006 @ 11:21 am
Patterns of Belief around the world

I found this on Reuters, and it's rather good.
01 August 2006 @ 11:53 pm
This past weekend, I went to a Catholic service with some very Catholic relatives of mine. I was staying with them at the time, and their typical modus operendi is to go to the Sunday evening service and then out to dinner - it would have been somewhat troublesome for me not to join them, as they'd have to come back for me. And besides, though I consider myself Jewish, I rather like going to Catholic mass. My mom is Catholic and I spent my childhood going to CCD and being an angel in the nativity play before having my Bat Mitzvah and sticking to the synagogue.

The church my aunt and uncle attend is the same church my grandmother and cousins all attend(ed). It's gone through several face-lifts but I know it very well; I feel as comfortable there as I do anywhere else in the world. I even recongized the officiating priest. And though we sat in the front row (in deference to my uncle's mother, who is hard of hearing) I didn't feel the least bit uncomfortable or self-conscious. I might have attended this church every week of my life.

Which is funny, when you consider that I'm now married to a Catholic man who probably wouldn't know when to stand and when to sit (whereas I remember all the rituals well enough to follow along and not look stupid).

(And no, I don't follow every one. I remain seated when the congregants kneel; I stand when they stand though I may not recite some of the prayers; I sing because I love the music and generally the psalms are pretty generic. I do the "Peace be with you" bit because I agree, and if the priest invites those who can't receive communion to come forward and receive a blessing instead, I join the rest in line. I figure I can use all the blessings I can get.)

Anyway, to get to my point - I wondered if anyone else felt the same as I do, comfortable in any place of worship, even if it's not their own. Granted, my sense of ease might have been due to my familiarity with this particular church (as I've been there countless times before), but I've never felt the least bit out of place in other churches as well. I don't know if that's me, or if it is a result of my peculiar religious upbringing. What do you all think?

x-posted to interfaith_life
Current Location: home
07 July 2006 @ 10:46 pm
In response to angelofthenorth's Road Not Traveled challenge, I wrote the following - Angel then asked that I repost it on its own.

(Perhaps posting this here will prompt the rest of youse to post your own mini-essays. I knew immediately what I wanted to write about - as my own road not traveled is fairly obvious - but I wasn't sure how to present it until I sat down about half an hour ago to write it.)

The Night I Told My Mom I wasn't CatholicCollapse )
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
06 July 2006 @ 10:24 am
OK, seeing as we're starting to settle a bit, I'd like to propose a challenge:

The Road Not Travelled.

Word limits: between 50 and 500
Details: In whatever form you like (bulletpoints, poetry, prose, haiku?!) write about the paths you chose not to take, and how they've affected you.

You can focus on anything you like, or tell the whole story. It might be Theism/Atheism, or choosing to reject Christianity in search of something else.

In my case, it's been about Spiritualism/Psychic powers, and finding mystical Christianity and Celtic Christianity.

I'm setting the word limits to encourage people to be concise and to focus - discussion and explanation can appear in comments to a post.

If you have other suggestions for challenges, or would like to ask questions, please post here.

ETA please give responses their own posts. They deserve them :)
Current Location: Westminster, London
Current Mood: happyhappy
Current Music: Norah Jones - Be Here to Love Me
29 June 2006 @ 04:10 pm
This is the post to introduce yourself to the community, whether you're a writer, critic or regular lurker.

Please include the following:

Name you like to be addressed by, if not LJ name
Spiritual background - no need for a long bio, but some idea of where you're coming from is helpful. (I'm going to post a challenge on this topic later this week)
Heritage - What parts of your heritage most influence you?
Future - what parts of the future most affect your planning and spirituality now
Current Location: bermondsey
27 June 2006 @ 11:21 pm
I thought it might be good to post something apart from administrative affairs.

awarenessCollapse )
Current Location: Westminster, London
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
27 June 2006 @ 03:15 pm
The comments section of this post is for discussion and suggestions about the Guidelines (found here and in the community info.)
27 June 2006 @ 01:23 pm
and Welcome to roadtravelled!

I assume everyone has checked out the guidelines for this community and thus already has a feel for what roadtravelled is about. If not, do (if only to save me from having to type one of those stereotypical intro posts that goes "This community is for $blah and $foo and we'd be glad to hear anything about $bar and do join us if you $widget.") If there are questions or suggestions about the guidelines, feel free to raise them. Likewise, if there are ideas about things we'd like to see in this community, please raise those, too.
For the sake of staying on topic in the community in general, I'll make two posts (one for guidelines and one for content ideas) and put them in Memories so we won't have to sift through possibly unrelated discussions to find them. (I wanted to backdate these so the comm didn't start out by plugging up your friendspage, but apparently LJ won't let me. Let me contemplate that and get back to you.)

I hope this community serves as a reminder for us to continually seek out topics of interest, a reliable source of respectful, productive discussion (including loving disagreement), a source of new ideas, and a valuable tool for continued spiritual growth. The smallness of the community, I hope, will help keep us all active and paying attention to one another (which is not to say that you shouldn't PLUG, PLUG, PLUG!) I, for one, am quite excited to see what we come up with here.

Happy travelling! :)