Friday, June 14, 2013

My walk...

My parents rarely attended church, so I had little contact with it growing up. When I was with one grandmother, she would take me to her Baptist church and when I was with the other I attended "Home Services" which were Church of God. We lived in southern Mississippi for a while and I had several friends who took me to Catholic services. Oh, and before we married, my husband introduced me to the United Methodist church! Needless to say, although I didn't have a complete understanding of any of these denominations, I had a wide variety of experiences.

I am happy to say that the UMC was the place I needed to be and many of their core beliefs are very dear to me. But, this background must be the reason I feel so comfortable incorporating aspects from other faiths in my walk with God.

My prayer beads are always with me and have helped me ease into prayer whenever I am struggling. I hold them any time I am part of an act of worship and just touching them brings me peace when I am troubled.

I love to spend time in quiet contemplation as I walk a labyrinth. Putting one foot in front of the other as I move to the center and back out again has been the source of more than one revelation.

Making the sign of the cross is not a particularly Protestant act, but seems to be the perfect ending to time spent in prayer or a quick way to bring my thoughts into focus when I'm in distress.

Gazing at Icons, using candles, praying the Hours (I love this but fail miserably to do it with regularity), meditating, lectio divina and time spent in retreat have all benefited me in my walk. 

Does that mean I'm not a faithful member of the United Methodist Church? Personally, I think I am. And, although I haven't read it cover to cover, I can't find anything in the UM Discipline that tells me otherwise.
Despite what many think, none of the things I do are new. All were practiced by the early church and have slowly been relegated to this denomination or the other, or forgotten altogether.

While I am not advocating that you do as I do, I would encourage you to keep an open mind. An open mind will lead to an open heart.

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