One of the good things about being less than full time is that I get to visit other congregations and see what they’re doing.  I think it was the end of last month I visited All Saints in Sacramento (as supply) and really enjoyed meeting the people.  Things were just enough different to keep me on my toes.  I enjoyed it.

Tonight I visited the contemplative Eucharist done 7:15 PM Sundays at Trinity in Folsom.  They had a congregation of around 20 for this (still relatively) new service.  Gentle lighting, candles, silence and bells set the tone.  And they have a very nice period for healing prayers built into the service.  I enjoyed it.  And since I wasn’t the celebrant, I could just sit back and let the service flow over me.

These are both Episcopal Churches.  But on vacation (of one kind or another) I have visited Friends Meetings, Methodist and Lutherans, as well as Episcopalians.  For various professional and personal reasons, I know I have also visited Baptists and Roman Catholics and Assemblies of God and Orthodox congregations.  I’m sure I’ve been to other Christian Churches.  (The list keeps getting longer, but I’m going to stop here.)  Ive been to synagogue services several times.  (I was having surgery on my knee when we made arrangements to visit a local mosque.  So I missed that opportunity.  But we have had visitors from that mosque at two churches I have served.)  I do have some definite preferences (I am Episcopalian for a reason).  But I have been enriched by these experiences, and have probably learned things at every visit.  I don’t remember visiting Budhists at worship.  But I have benefited from reading and hearing a number of Budhists.  (My original contemplative practice of sitting meditation came out of a Budhist book, many years ago.)

I am glad to be at St. George’s.  I enjoy both of our services — though they are quite different.  I’m not sure there’s anyplace I’d rather worship — which is probably a good thing!  But experiencing the different approaches so many of God’s children have to their worship is a gift that has blessed me.  And I am grateful.

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