Last week, Tara B. of Washington, USA, wrote a great post about her evolution from Catholicism to agnosticism and what religion has meant as she raises her kids. (If you didn’t read it, you can read it here.) Her post stirred a lot of feelings in me and generated this response.
When I was a child, my family regularly attended church but it wasn’t for the religiosity of it, it was because it was the place to be seen in the affluent, Philadelphia suburb, where we lived. Our Episcopal church was a social network for the well-heeled. Rather than gaining a deep understanding of God and an appreciation for the value of a genuine church community, I viewed church as a place of formalities, where what you gained from coffee hour trumped anything absorbed during the sermon or Sunday School.
I grew to disdain attending church. It felt vapid. Artificial. Insincere.
As a teenager, I began to explore other ways of experiencing spirituality. On the small peninsula in Maine, where I spent summers growing up, there was a walking trail worn into the rocky coast line. Sitting out on those jagged ledges, I often experienced God deeper and closer than I ever did in church and so my church attendance slowed to a trickle.