Choosing My Religion*

I’ve always wanted to attend an outdoor, Easter sunrise service, and given how nice the weather was forecast to be, it seemed like today would be the perfect day to do so.

However, we could not find any local Catholic churches that were having such a service, but there was a church, Bryn Mawr Presbyterian, that was having an outdoor mass at 6:30, and so my wife and I decided to go.

It was a beautiful service, with the sun rising in the background as the service began. We were blessed to have some young men attending the service who had incredible voices, making the songs even more appealing.

There was also a baptism of two young boys, which made the service even more special, particularly on Easter. Coincidentally, both boys had “IV” as a suffix to their name…

At the end of the service, each member of the congregation had the chance to place a flower on a cross (see photo above).

It was a lovely way to start the day, and I want to thank Bryn Mawr Presbyterian for offering such a service, and for being so welcoming.

I’ll admit that I had some reservations about not attending a Catholic mass on such an important day, but afterwards I realized that there was quite a bit in common between the two churches, not only in their approach to Sunday service but to religion in general.

From the Sunday worship perspective, the services both start with a song, there’s a reading from the Bible, there’s a homily, some more singing, and the Our Father.

And from a big picture perspective, both churches are trying to create a sense of community, a sense of belonging for its members. Both churches are helping their members improve their lives, while at the same time providing a great deal of outreach to help improve the lives of those in need.

So for the second time this week, the theme of my blog is about looking for what we have in common, whether it’s in the games we played as children, or in how we practice our faith as adults.

Today’s service has created a desire to explore the Sunday services at other churches. I am sure that there will be differences, but I’m also confident that I’ll find that what we have in common will far outweigh the differences.

And I think that will be the biggest lesson of all.

P.S. Fun fact about Bryn Mawr Presbyterian – it’s the church Woodrow Wilson attended while he was on the faculty at Bryn Mawr College.

*in homage to R.E.M.

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Jim Borden

Accounting Prof. at Villanova; happily married for 30+ years; father of 3 outstanding young men; vegan; interests: fitness, creativity, education, blogging, social media.

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