Tuesday, June 15, 2010
I love this church.
It’s my kind of place.
We got sinners,
We got saints,
Chain prayers and snoozers,
We got yuppies,
We got old timers,
We got tourist church first timers.
And all the ladies dress up like movie stars.
Mmmm, I love this church.
All joking aside, St. Johns Lafayette Square Episcopal Church is one of the ways I was able to finally find myself at home in Washington. My former roommate, Whitley, talked me into trying an Episcopal church the first summer we moved here. It probably didn’t take much convincing after she admitted that every President since 1816 has attended at least once during his tenure. Last year, we even celebrated Easter service with the Obamas. It was a pretty incredible experience, despite the fact we almost didn’t make it in due to security.
I’ve been a faithful person since elementary school, attending mass regularly, weekly catechism class, and even church camp twice a year. However, it wasn’t until I came here that I can honestly say I had my first spiritual experience. I don’t entirely remember what prompted it, but I was suddenly so moved by the congregation and the music that I choked up. Embarrassingly, it has happened several times since then. I knew I was at home and this is where I belonged.
I think our Pastor, Reverend Luis Leon has a major part to do with this. He has some incredible life experiences, coming to the United States from Cuba as a child without his parents. Yet, somehow he found himself studying theology at Sewanee, University of the South. Yep, this guy is a Tennessean too. He is open and honest. Loves with an open heart and without judgment. He belongs on that pulpit. President George W. Bush thought so too (I never imagined he and I would ever have anything in common!). He said the opening prayer during Bush’s second inaugural in 2004. I was so proud sitting in the crowds freezing with my mom knowing he was up there, representing good old St. John’s.
As we are beginning to build our family, I am so looking forward to Rev. Leon baptizing my baby. St. John’s makes it such a special occasion. They perform the sacrament and then the babies are carried through the aisles as the congregation sings. It is so beautiful. And Rocky has even agreed to put our little linebacker (he’s already 11 ounces!) in an old-school baptismal gown. Now, can we get him in a bonnet too?
I like my pew.
I like my priest.
I like a guest speaker now and then.
But, I love this church.
It's my kind of place.