I’ve been thinking a lot this year about my faith journey. At one time or another, I have been part of (almost) every major stream of Christian faith and wanted to write a bit about my journey…probably more for my understanding than anything else. But hopefully, it will be encouraging and helpful to others as well.
A couple of thoughts upfront. Most of my stops have had good and bad, ugly and beautiful all mixed in together. At the same time, I recognise that my experience is not everyone’s. My saying I experienced a positive is in no way trying to downplay anyone else’s pain.
Second. Most of these transitions felt like a natural progression rather than a drastic shift. Although when I moved to Ireland and got kicked out of my denomination, that did feel pretty drastic. But overall, the journey has felt as though the Spirit has directed it. Hopefully, that shows through.
Now, one of the major streams of Christian faith that I have not experienced is Orthodox, other than having friends. I do have a story that I’ll kick this series off with that deals with the Orthodox Church. It is July in the early 2000s, and I have a weekend off. I decided months before that on that Sunday, our family was going to attend the local Greek Orthodox Church. Here was my thinking. I had been a Jesus follower for so long, I forgot what it was like for someone to walk into our church and have no idea what to expect. A Greek Orthodox congregation presented me with an opportunity to walk into a church and be entirely out of my element. Liz and I were looking forward to it. Our kids were not. They begged Liz to talk me out of it. She told them that I seemed pretty set on doing this, and if they didn’t want to go, they should pray.
That Sunday, I woke up, checked the Orthodox church’s website, and had difficulty figuring out when their service was. I eventually found a pdf of a newsletter. But instead of a time, I learned that there was no service that month because their priest was in Greece.
I never ended up getting any closer to attending Orthodox worship…but at the rate I’m going, who knows.
Tomorrow: Catholic & Protestant.