I am not sure why I did it... but I sent in the membership form to Grace church today. Before I mailed it, I spoke to the Rector by phone. It was a brief chat, and truly didn't really impact my decision to join. But I wanted to tell him I was going to mail it and also clue him in on Nguyen's situation, which is that he is an atheist and is finding the Christian church experience uncomfortable, but also senses that there may be a place for him at Grace, we just aren't sure what that place looks like just yet. Whew. Bob was very kind and said that while Grace is unapologetically a Christian church, part of it's character is that it is theologically 'roomy'. He suggested that a poll of the congregants would probably reveal a very diverse group. And he promised that Nguyen need not agree to any creed in order to be welcome. I appreciated that.
Nevertheless, it has been mostly a slow process to feel anything like at home there. I truly don't yet. So why did I send in the papers? Because I believe God is nudging me to be there and I am trying to put my trust and faith in Him and let things unfold as He wills. Every time I felt like looking for another church, the kids would beg me to take them to Grace just one more Sunday. I would bump into a congregant somewhere. I would hear a story about the heroic compassion of the Rector. I would be reminded that I have so much to learn and that maybe humility and patience and trust is part of it. And maybe I can be of service there.
So I sent in the paper. I offered a pledge. I agreed to be included in the membership directory and have begun, ever so subtly, to feel like the search is over. For the time being, anyway.
I am a member of Grace.