The service was apparently a little different this week than it usually is. The service was a covenant service (if I’m remembering this right) in which we wrote down three things: We wrote down the blessings God has given us, our sins or errors or brokenness, and the promises we would make God for the coming year. We put the piece of paper with the blessings in the offering plate, kept the one with the promises on it, and burned the one with our sins on it. I liked the idea, although I’ve seen something similar in different types of rituals, especially pagan stuff.
Afterward, as I mentioned earlier, everyone wanted to say hi and greet me. It was the most welcoming place I’ve ever been to. But it’s the people, not the doctrine, I engage with. Shared fears, shared sorrows, talking to each other and caring about each other. If the motivation to do that comes from the shared belief, that’s great, but it’s hard for those of us whose belief is not the same. In some ways, I feel false in participating sometimes, because I don’t want to represent myself as something I’m not. If I don’t share the same beliefs, do I have any business going to the same place and acting as though I do?