I’ve turned a corner of some sort. I didn’t go to church yesterday at all. Whilst this was far from the first time for me, it was the first time I had no intention of going back. Put another way, I’m now on an indefinite break. As opposed to two weeks before where the break was a bit more tenuous.
What was happening was, like any bad relationship, I was clinging onto the good bits. I was still on a few rosters, I still care for the friendships and for the people (mostly). But there were a few things that suggested a more complete break was called for. Firstly, the email conversation with the host of the bible study I had been attending kind of pushed me. Amongst other things, I had to think more carefully about what I was doing and why, not the least because I had to be very careful what I said.
It was really this that led me to withdraw from two of my three rosters. I actually said to one person that I was turning up to cook and that wasn’t a good reason to be on the roster. I got agreement in return. So I am not on the music roster anymore, and I’m not on the cooking roster for evening service, either. I’m still on the maintenance roster because I don’t like leaving a hole. So I’ll mow the lawns for (probably) the last time in October.
The second thing that happened was I met with a church elder and friend for an afternoon coffee. He was the first person at church I’d been frank with that I’d been turning up for morning tea. I heard that a friend did that for months before anyone figured it out, but my church is too small for that to work for long. I think the senior pastor figured it out, but he has other things on his plate.
But the third thing was that I went to a What Is Wicca workshop on Saturday. This was basically a full day event, culminating in a proper circle.
I’d been kidding myself that I’d looking for ways to keep both Christianity going whilst I went Wicca. This is, of course, insanely difficult. Amongst other things, it puts additional demands on my time – when if I stopped thinking of Wicca as adding to church-going and instead regarded it as replacing church-going I wouldn’t have that problem. So I’ve stopped going to church.
Problem solved? The jury is still out, so to speak. After a lingering connection for months, this is a much cleaner break. And without the burden of parts of a Sunday being taken up with a church activity, it should be easier to get to the next full-moon circle.