I had a disgustingly hard time picking the title to this page. The funny thing is you all won’t know that I chose the vague “My thoughts on the Sacred and Divine” as opposed to something more nailed down like “Ecumenical Christian Extremism” or “All Roads Lead to Rome” or “What I think about the Divine God…and the Goddess”
To preface, I want to say that my beliefs about the sacred and divine melt into all the other parts of my life. “The Divine is the light in which I see.” “The Divine is the mind in which I think.” “The Divine is the love in which I forgive.” “The Divine is the strength in which I trust.” It affects my feelings on our bodies whether looking at them from a feminist perspective or trying to alleviate an imbalance. It melts into my art and crafts and what I want to say to the world. The sacred and divine embodies who I am. It is everything.
Mainstream Religion Sacred and Divine:
I started my life as a Jew. I went to Jewish Preschool in Las Vegas, Nevada. My dad and I attended Synagogue on Saturday mornings until I was about 8 years old. Then, my parents joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon). It was a pretty dramatic shift, to say the least. Fairly quickly, I think it was clear that maybe I was not the best candidate for Mormonism….for a myriad of reasons. As an adult, I attempted a return to Mormonism that ended almost before it began. I was married in a ceremony honoring the Goddess in 2001 and I was married in the Mormon temple to Adam when I made my cameo on the LDS scene. When being a Mormon failed miserably, I was a leaf in the wind. I couldn’t be a Mormon….I couldn’t be a Jew…I believe in Jesus Christ and the Trinity. I attended Saddleback Church where I found another portrait of Jesus that rocked my world. I fell in love with Him. I began to worship Him….His wisdom, His love, His grace. I am taken and enchanted by My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is pretty strange in that it is a really intimate love.
One of the things we really wanted was for us to be able to really get to know our pastor. We longed for relationship, once we had a relationship with the Divine Lord Jesus Christ. I guess I also missed that from the LDS church where the Bishop knows each and every member of their congregation, personally. So, I sought out another, smaller congregation. Our family found ourselves at Calvary Chapel. It seems so foreign now. To be honest, it was foreign, then. I never got into the hands raised, evangelical style worship found here. I was a Jew turned Mormon…none of my peeps raise their hands. I really liked Greg Laurie who spoke a message of love and hope. Unfortunately, this was very short lived. In very short order I started speaking a sacred and divine mantra, “I cannot take one more hateful comment from the pulpit.” Hateful? that is a strong word. Yes, yes it is. Forever and ever I will never ever tolerate anyone condemning whole groups as “evil” or generally hate mongering in the name of the Divine. Period….I thought. However, I guess I am slow to learn. I looked for churches who loved all the people Jesus loves….the poor, the needy, the thieves, the tax collectors…and the new additions for our day, the homosexuals and the women, I guess all people is key here.
I found a “progressive” church on some outdated message board. One of the churches they listed was St. George’s Episcopal Church. This is an amazing church. We love being Episcopalians and we got our start here in 2007.
When we moved to North San Diego County, my resolve to not stand idly by while people were condemning Muslims and every other “out” group that could get their wrath from the pulpit, ebbed. I thought all congregations of Episcopalians were like St. George’s. We found a very, very, very conservative Episcopal congregation. There were so many things we loved about this group it was difficult to sever ties when these random instances of nastiness rose their head. After years, they all boiled over and we had to find a more mainstream Episcopal Church. Lucky for us, Trinity Episcopal Church was ready to provide that soft spot.
With all that said I have, what may be onsidered by everyone involved, a radically odd perspective on the sacred and divine. I’ve never really tried to reduce it concisely. Lets see if I can do it without it devolving into sacred and divine chaos.
- I am a practicing Episcopalian: Why? I am a Christian. Saying you are a Christian is so loaded today. It can mean things wonderful and repellant depending upon your perspective. I respect all of it. Let me brief you about the Episcopalian church. We have a woman, The Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori, as the presiding bishop of our church in America. I personally attend a diocese with a woman priest. We have openly gay priests, too. It also allows for a wide interpretation in doctrine and scripture, from very conservative to uber liberal. With that, I can say that I am a Christian. I believe in the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I believe in a Heavenly Father who personally knows and loves each and every one of us. I also believe in the Holy Spirit. Seems reasonable right? Well exhale.
- I believe in the Goddess. I believe the Holy Spirit is the Goddess, part of a holy triad of Mother ~ Father ~ Child. I am sure I will write an entire blog in how I got here and why I believe this. These are just the bullet points. I also believe the sacred and divine feminine has been systematically removed from modern Judeo Christian doctrine.
- I practice energy healing and believe the power of the sacred and divine can be felt and harnessed for our good. The laying on of hands is real. The sacred and divine shines in all of us.
- I say Christianity is the “what” and Buddhism is the “how” of the sacred and divine on a personal level. Again, fodder for another great blog. Basically, it goes like this. Jesus says, “love your enemy” and that you must die to live. He gives new meaning to the 10 commandments and brings it to the level of what we are thinking about will save or condemn us. The problem is that these things are hard things to do. When you ask Buddhism how to love your enemy or how to die to self or have compassion or control our thoughts, it says….”oh grasshopper, here is exactly how.”
- I have what may be considered strange beliefs about the afterlife. I guess we all have to imagine heaven and hell in our own ways. I have always been more of a reincarnationist. In all my religious endeavors with mainstream churches, I fought against it but I believe in it. I just do. I have no evidence. I just do.
- Because of my “eclectic” belief in the trinity, I celebrate Christian, Pagan, and other religious holidays as sacred and divine. I let my intuition guide me but the more feast days, the merrier as far as I am concerned.
- My worship style is publicly conservative and privately outrageous. I am not an evangelical and I don’t do the hand raising thing, as I said, I have tried. I may be able to do it in another context but not while singing. I like reverent music at church. I don’t mind churchapaloosa but it is just entertainment. I, personally, feel closer to the sacred and divine when I am singing reverent hymns led by traditional musical instruments, including an organ. Privately, I talk directly with the sacred and divine every day. The Trinity of the Divine are always with me and we cannot be apart.
- I am not a Bible literalist. Jesus spoke in parables and then sort of scoffed at the people who wouldn’t get the real meaning because they couldn’t see into the story. I kind of feel like that when people try to take the Bible stories literally. There is a lot more to it.
I am sure I will be adding onto my own little sacred and divine Articles of Faith. At least you get an idea where I am coming from.