The Search for the Holy Grail

grailWe aren’t the knights of the Round Table, unless it’s the pizza place, but a holy grail we indeed seek.

The grail, the legendary one, I think is more about seeking that tangible connection with the divine.

In our case, a church community is more the grail we would seek to find. A gathering of like-minded individuals that we can connect with during our spiritual practices, whatever they are. For Cricket and Ladybug, that practice is mostly drawing or coloring during Sunday school, though Ladybug has developed a deeper interest in “thinking deeply about God,” as she puts it. She’s currently very interested in the Greek Gods and wants to believe in them. Fine with me. In our house, we practice religious near-freedom. I can’t really say complete freedom, because while we are raising the kids, we don’t want them believing that we’re going to hell for not believing in a particular view of God. If they end up that way later, so be it, but I hope not.

My view of God is complicated and not for this post, but in a nutshell one does not have to believe in God, and all Gods/gods/goddesses/everythings are the same thing anyway, just different ways to look at the same thing.

Makes it a little complicated to find the right grail. Almost by default, that steers us inevitably to the Unitarian Universalist church, which is comprised of a wide variety of people believing a wide variety of things, but sharing a common well-intentioned list of core beliefs that suit everyone.

This Sunday, we went for the first time in years. We felt immediately welcomed, not just because we were new, but because half of us are kids, and kids are pure gold to small churches like this one. In fact, turns out there are no other little kids who attend this church, so they weren’t fully prepared for a Sunday School session for them. Instead, they quickly improvised with a craft while we listened to a presentation about MLK from a member who had marched on Washington with that particular visionary.

I enjoyed the sense of community, but the lack of other kids for our own to socialize with is a little disappointing. The kids had a great time, though, and want to go back. Ladybug was all ready to sign up to become a permanent member. Nothing is decided for sure, but I do know that this is the only church in town that fits all of us.

What I’d love in a Holy Grail, a.k.a., Church:

  • A skillful and inspiring Reverend
  • Most services focused on spirituality (U.U. often focuses on social justice issues rather than spiritual)
  • Many families with Kids
  • A feeling of being welcome in a group of likable people

That last one is definitely there. They have a reverend, but only once a month, since it’s a small church. The services this month aren’t as spiritually-focused as I’d like, though I did enjoy the MLK service. Families with kids, nope, but perhaps I can try to draw others there with some outreach.

If this place isn’t immediately looking like the Holy Grail, perhaps it still is. Perhaps it needs a little time to be polished, until it begins to shine a bit more.

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About J. Parrish Lewis

J. Parrish Lewis writes. He is also the author of The Goblin Road, a fantasy novel, and The Rabbit List. He was born and raised in Maryland. In his youth there, he and his brother had many adventures in the dogwood forests near his home. His nostalgia for these adventures has strongly influenced his characters, their relationships, and their perspective on the world they inhabit. He moved to California’s coast to earn his degree in communications and now lives with his family in the San Joaquin Valley. Lewis is profoundly deaf and uses American Sign Language to communicate. He enjoys hazelnut coffee, captioned movies, and walking his dog.
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