Archive | Church Matters

The Church of Soft Hearts Marching

In the last year, I have become a member of Middle Collegiate Church. I have done this despite the fact that I identify as a Jewish person, albeit one who was not bat mitzvahed, never learned Hebrew, has a gentile mother who only half-converted, and admires Jesus and both Marys as profound practitioners of radical receptivity.

Being Jewish feels as intrinsic to my being as eyes that change color and intellectual impatience, but I feel no more comfortable in synagogue, where I’m generally tolerated rather than accepted, as I do in the Catholic and Unitarian churches and Quaker meeting houses and Buddhist temples and ashrams that I’ve frequented in my un-abiding metaphysical thirst. My whole life, I have longed for a spiritual collective that has not felt like a cult and Middle preserves everything uplifting about religion while eschewing all of its exclusionary toxicity. It gives me strength when nothing else does, features beautiful words and beautiful music, boasts a minster who is brilliant and transparent, and a congregation comprised of every possible gender and sexual identification, ethnicity, class, occupation; our only commonality is a wholly and holy positive intent. This is a church in the purest, most unifying sense of that term, and I attend Sunday services whenever I am not working. Sadly, that’s not very often, but I was able to go yesterday for the first time since returning from Cape Cod. The timing was not coincidental. If there’s ever been a moment in which I need extra doses of divine and human compassion it is now. We all do. Continue Reading →

The Church of Old Soul October

I once dated a man whose mother I loved. I loved the man, too, but our relationship came to an end simply because not all romances are meant to last eternal. When it did, I wrote this woman a letter expressing regret that I would not become her daughter. She wrote me back something I never forgot. “The woods are my church,” she said. “When I walk in them, I say prayers for all my babies, and this includes you.” As I’ve walked through the woods of the Outer Cape this last month, I’ve often thought of her kind words. Love doesn’t end; it just changes form. Nature teaches us this every day.

The Temple of Rosh HaLunar

New moon, new moon, new moon! I haven’t been this excited for a moon in a dog’s age, and it’s appearing in hyper-controlling Virgo just as ocean god Neptune opposes Mercury and Mars in Virgo, and Venus sits pretty in this sign as well. What does it all mean? That this lunar cycle is less about tossing what doesn’t work and more about making cozy, clean order out of what does–even if it’s as nebulous and dreamy as Neptune himself. I complain about Virgo all the time, but the truth is she’s the healer of the zodiac. We feel safe and seen under her g-d-is-in-the-details gaze even when we rebel against the boundaries she sets. Continue Reading →

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy