By way of introduction, dear reader, let me say the following-
My personal faith is perhaps best described as eclectic, and I am not inclined to apologize for such. Everyone is entitled to their own personal faith and practice, and mine is what works for me. It is human, like I; evolving, like I; flawed, like I; and divine, like I.
As a small child, my family was not religious- my parents are flaming liberals, and I was raised in my early years with a sort of eco-friendly, energetically-aware, loving, deity-less world view that, in my teen years, I realized was pretty much what people were talking about when they used the word “pagan”. I was aware of Christianity, and I went to church on occasion with extended family, or when my mother felt inclined, but it was not a matter of concern. When I was a pre-teen, my mother and step-father began attending an evangelical Bible Belt church, and I became evangelical, which I took very seriously for a number of years. I eventually left this particular branch of Christianity, moving over to the Episcopal church (thanks to my step-mother) in my late teens. During this time I also began to revisit the spirituality of my early childhood, and began to intentionally follow an eclectic pagan personal practice. When I decided to attend graduate school, I made the choice to attend the Graduate Theological Union, and received my MA in Biblical Languages from the GTU in 2009. Today I am a practicing Episcopalian, with a very eclectic and personal spirituality that draws heavily on many traditions.
All of my religious experience is important to me, and I regret none of it. Without it, I would not have the robust and vital faith I have, and without that, I would not be who I am. People have asked me why I’m religious, and frankly, the only answer I can give is that I do not know how to not be. No matter what shape faith and the divine take in my life, they are always there. I couldn’t be irreligious if I tried, and I wouldn’t ever want to be.
While I have read the Bible before (see: former evangelical, attended seminary), every time I read it, it speaks to me in a different way. It is the foundational text for a faith I call my own, and challenges me and inspires me at every turn. Reading it, I learn more about myself, more about G-d/ess, and more about my fellow human beings. I am excited to read it again.
My hope is that something about my experience in this coming year is interesting, or speaks to you. This is intended to be a dialogue; a conversation between myself and the divine, myself and Stephanie, ourselves and the texts, and both of us and you.
Please. Join us.