This morning I awoke feeling more motivated then I have been recently. The evening prior I was online doing some research of local churches, to get an idea of what type of service and beliefs were offered.
I came upon The Tobermory United Church
The website described the church with language that resonated with me. It sounded more inclusive, more forward thinking perhaps. This morning the idea to attend service popped into my head; and there was no resistance.
So I put on the best clothes I packed, and headed out on the bike into town. (The daily bike riding, while a healthy practice, is kicking my butt..).
As I rode into town, I let my mind empty of expectations and potential judgments. I did not want the experience soiled by old ways of thinking. I kept repeating, “God is FOR me. I will be guided. I am SAFE”.
I finally reached town and had to take a minute because the bike ride was cold and my body is still adjusting to the exercise. So after a brief rest, I made my through town to where the church is located.
Its a simple enough building, nestled in the utmost natural beauty. I will be sure to walk the full property sometime soon to take it all in. I didn’t this morning because I was still quite moved by my experience.
I walked in and found that there were already many people present. Busied with conversation and greeting, or getting themselves coffee. I could feel the eyes around the room fall on me for a moment, noticing the new face. I met each gaze I caught with a smile and a nod and proceeded to hang up my jacket and take a seat in one of the middle pews.
I was then struck with intense anxiety.
My palms were sweating and I could feel my heart beating rapidly. At first I thought, “Not a great first impression to have a heart attack here and now”. I closed my mind and used breathing to bring myself to a calmer place. I am still not sure why this happened, but I will contemplate it further today.
Not much longer after I arrived, service began. Everyone took their seats, and the few people who joined my pew offered a greeting and a warm smile. I immediately felt at peace. I felt authentically welcomed.
I don’t ever remember being in a Catholic service before. I know my father proclaimed himself a Roman Catholic, but not once did we ever go to church. I was given a collection of papers which outlined the service itself, as well as the words to the music we would be singing. I had time to read them over before service began, so that I had some idea of what was to come.
What really struck a resonate chord with me was the language used. Very inclusive, very developed in the sense that the ideas really came across as Universal. Ironically, that is what the word Catholic means.
Songs were sang.
Hymns were shared.
Then the attending Reverend (because the primary Reverend is on sabbatical) began his talk. The topic was on “Easterly Choices”, as well as the idea of doubt in faith. Both seem to be repeating themes in my life right now, so I felt greater resonance being in this place.
Contained in his service, he brought mention to two people who have been influential in my own growth, and at the mention of their names I knew I was definitely in the right place. The two names were Bishop Desmond Tutu, and Father Richard Rohr.
I was shocked. I really did not expect to hear either of those powerful minds to be mentioned in his talk. In all honesty, I thought i was the only one in the room to know those names. Apparently, I was wrong.
After service I was approached by a few people with greetings. I gave a short bio of myself and explained how pleased I was to be here. The feeling was mutual.
I look forward to next Sunday (and the rest of the week) as more synchronocities and miracles emerge in my life.