Journeys of Faith is a program in which members of the community speak about their spiritual journey for a few minutes at the beginning of the service.
First, I'd like to talk about my "spiritual” journey.
I was brought up Catholic and during high school in the early 1970s was quite involved with the church. This was in part due to a young liberal priest who ran a "rap group" for young people. It was a mix of prayer, folk songs, consciousness raising, and meditation.
I was raised Roman Catholic, as my family moved from Chicago to Buffalo to Pittsburgh and back. My Baptist father signed an agreement with the church that my brothers and I were to be raised Catholics. I remember masses in Latin. My older brothers went to Catholic school and experienced the nuns’ strict discipline. For his 50th birthday, one brother got a wind-up toy nun that spit sparks as it walked down the table.
To me, Catholicism was a closed, doctrinal faith that was out of touch with how I came to understand the world. I grew up during the heyday of environmentalism – a time of increased understanding of our reliance on the natural world. Christianity didn’t talk about our relation to nature, except that we fell from it.
Julie Forney Menin gave this Journey of Faith on October 30, 2016.
Religion played a central role in my childhood. My parents were raised in Anabaptist Protestant churches in Pennsylvania. Anabaptists practice adult baptism by immersion and are pacifists. They also eschew worldly and sinful pleasures, to varying degrees. My mom chose to leave her austere religion as a teen, for which I am forever grateful. At the same time, I adored my maternal grandmother, a small, hunchbacked, plain-clothed spitfire who was deeply religious. Her life had been hard, yet she would often recount hilarious stories of her childhood antics. Many of my best childhood memories are from summer weeks with Grandma, climbing her chestnut tree to read a book, exploring her decrepit barn, patching quilts with her, and reciting the Bible ABCs at night in bed together.
Sunday, November 20, 2016: Share your Journey of Faith. Lower Meeting House Conference Room, 11:45am. If you are interested in sharing your Journey of Faith with the congregation, or just interested in learning more about the Journey of Faith program, please come to a brief meeting after church.
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