Re-springing Your Step: Tell us about the last experience you had that left you feeling fresh, energized, and rejuvenated. What was it that had such a positive effect on you?
I was raised in a home with parents who were members of two different denominations of the Christian faith. My mom was a born&raised Roman Catholic; my dad was a Lutheran Minister’s son, of what is now the ELCA. Back in his day, before the church consolidated, it was one of the Lutheran branches known as the Norwegian/Scandinavian Lutheran Church of America. Because my parents moved a good bit as my dad rose in the insurance industry, he actually was a member of the Missouri Synod of the Lutheran Church, a more conservative branch of the church. So, growing up, I attended mass and Sunday Catechism classes offered for those unfortunate children who could not attend Catholic schools full time, and on holidays, I joyfully attended the Lutheran church with my dad. That allowed me to attend Midnight Mass to sing in the choir, and then arrive at a fresh Christmas morning service to celebrate the birth of Jesus with a church who had not been up yawning through mass all night. I felt that I had the best of all worlds. In college, I attended a Presbyterian College in Memphis, Tennessee and changed to Presbyterian at some point in my faith journey. Now, since my move to Chattanooga, I have resumed my Catholic faith, acknowledged the irrevocable imprint of the Catholic language in my heart, and now attend the same Catholic church where my husband went to middle school in the ’70’s. Alas, he was welcomed by my Presbyterian church in Memphis and joined the church the spring we both graduated from law school in Memphis and he went on to be heavily involved in the administration of our church as was I because of our legal backgrounds. He has now rekindled his ties with the Catholic church and even knows a few individuals from his past years at that Church.
My moment of Re-Springing occurred at a Wednesday night service recently . Because of the convoluted schedule we follow due to my husband’s work assignments, we use Wednesday as our substitute Sunday and attend the mid-week mass at the church on Wednesday nights. At a recent mass, I became extremely jubilant at being with my fellow worshipers, as though the event were a holiday and not an ordinary day. Glad to finally and honestly acknowledge my faith tradition as my own without excluding any other religious experiences I have had in the past 55 years within the Christian church, I feel as though I have come “home” again, finally. Wholeness is a hard to come by feeling and not one to be taken lightly. I feel grounded having achieved that although it does not preclude me from worshiping in other Christian settings just as fervently. I am thankful for this aha experience!