Beauty · Gratitude · Introspection · me · Something wonderful · Sunday lesson

Moving toward the Spirit, Part 4

This is the fourth in a multi-part series on how I grew in my Christian faith. See part 1, part 2, and part 3 to catch up.

Ah, the recycling. That and the fact I was pulled in so many directions, like most American teens, had a lot to do with my falling away from the faith for quite some time. I may have attended church during the college years, but it was a faith grown “lukewarm.” Yuck.

After graduation I moved to Savannah in early 1990 for my first job. Sad to say, part of my motivation for finding a church was 1) because the president of the place I interviewed at told me about important church was to him and 2) I was looking for one of those beautiful old churches in the historic district. Not too much on the actual faith part – more of a “looking good” type churchgoer. In a happy accident I wandered across one of the most spirit-filled churches of all, which just happened to be historic, beautiful, and blessed with a magnificent 60-rank Noack organ: Wesley Monumental Church. I was determined to go to a church with glorious music just once in my life!

Wesley Monumental at Christmas – I was lucky enough to sing in that choir

Within a year I was a member of the church choir, enrolled in a Sunday school class, and signed up for Disciple, a then-new 32-week intensive Bible Study group where we met once a week for 2 hours, and pledged to read 30-45 minutes a day. We read over 80% of the Bible in the class. That was a revelation for someone who had last seriously read the Bible as a child, who stopped when she got bogged down in Levicticus.

I was so grateful that our senior pastor, who leaned liberal, led the class. College had done a number on me – I was no longer sure about anything and had a definite hard-on for St. Paul, who I was sure was a misogynist. A fundamentalist would have driven me away. In our first session I flipped through the books of the New Testament saying, well, I don’t like this, I don’t believe this, this makes me mad…. I was a real piece of work.

Wouldn’t it be tidy to say that at the end of the 32 weeks I was a new woman? Only fiction works that way – not real life. Read part 5 (coming soon) to find out what happened next….

The beautiful Wesley Window – honoring John and Charles Wesley in the West front of the church. The writing across the depiction of the world says “My Parish” – a reference to John Wesley’s famous saying: “The World is My Parish.”

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