I just have to take a few minutes to reflect on something... I love my church.
My mom pointed it out to me yesterday just how "coincidental" my life's story has been up until this point. I left Ramona, a town through which there is a permeating conservativism with which, when I was in High School, I had no trouble identifying with. When I left Ramona I a part of a church which I liked but I didn't fully appreciate. Mine was a church of mixed perspectives, an open community willing at least to share ideas and refusing to be polarized to the left or to the right. I could just as easily identified with a more staunchly conservative church, but for some reason my parents raised me in this one. I left to a University which was in many ways a random decision for me. I knew they had football, I knew they had youth ministry (in neither of which did I end up participating), and it wasn't too extremely far from home so I went. I went without a clue that my ideas would be so changed and my perspective so broadened. I had no idea that I would become what I did, I had no idea I would questions some of the things I ended up questioning, things which to me were so essential before I left and ideas to which I had formerly been completely dedicated. I can no longer identify with the right or the left (sometimes because they won't let me) I can no longer be polarized. I can no longer accept certain agendas I was formerly willing to accept. I am no longer what I was before, I no longer "fit in" with some of the churches I previously had no trouble identifying with. I am different.
And yet all the while one place, one group, one community has accepted me on whatever stage and at whatever level my life's journey has been. Church is a place where people are accepted just as they are, where ideas can be shared, where our dedication to Christ and God's kingdom supersede and ideological differences we have. Church is a place where you can be yourself completely and only one place has been that for me, First Congregational Church of Ramona.
My mom said, "It's funny..., ours is probably the only church in town where you'd be able to have the ideas you have now and you've been there all along, without knowing in advance where your ideas would go."
Quite a coincidence...