Faith from the Edges

Faith and life from the perspective of me.

Why Sunday’s are not my friend

What do you do on a Sunday when you don’t have a church community to go to?

That’s the question that has been going through my head as of late. I used to like Sunday’s. The dear one would get up early – he had a service to get ready for and was out the door by 7 am. I would be a bit more relaxed and get myself and whoever was at home ready for the 10 am service. We would be out the door by 9:30 am (yeah, I know early but I was usually on deck for something or the kids were so we needed to be there by then). I would get to spend some time with some great folks, some of whom became great friends. I would be fed spiritually, emotionally, mentally – ready to go for another week.

Now I kind of hate Sunday’s. They are such a reminder of what is not in my life at the moment. I told the dear one the other day that it would be okay if I just didn’t care, if I just didn’t have any desire to be part of a living church community. Then Sunday’s wouldn’t suck! They would just be another day in the weekend that I could fill with all kinds of fun and creative things. But I do care and I do want to be part of a living church community.

This past Sunday is a perfect example. The dear one is attending the only other Anglican church in our community for his reasons. I just can’t – for me it just raises up too much grief and deep emotions. So there I was battling tears and feeling resentful of the dear one and not wanting to feel resentful at the same time. So we end up having a fight about something not related to this and then there are tears. Just so not good and just so not what Sunday’s are supposed to be about.

At the beginning of the dear one’s medical leave it was almost like a holiday – a break, a time of sabbath. It was restful, full of good music, good food. It was a day that I actually looked forward to. Now it has just gone on too long. Every sabbath time needs to come to an end.

I need to find a way to reclaim Sunday’s for me. To make them different from Saturday’s and every other day of the week. I need a way to spend time in worship that is still communal even if it doesn’t feel that way at the time. I need Sunday’s to be holy time again.

Finding my way through the desert and living with my faith on the edges.

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11 thoughts on “Why Sunday’s are not my friend

  1. Last summer I was feeling quite burnt out parish wise. I had provided considerable liturgical leadership for almost two years, one of vacancy and one of a new incumbency with a Lutheran pastor. I became her guide and mentor to life in an Anglican parish. I needed a real break. I couldn’t or wouldn’t go to DH’s church. He is assisting at a long term pastoral vacancy at an LCC church and, although welcome, I would be pushing the bounds of hospitality were I to present myself at the altar. Fortunately, I was welcome in the local RC church and welcome at the Table. I hung out there all summer except for the two Sundays I was scheduled to preach in my own parish and vacation.

    Is there another denomination where you might find retreat and solace and a community to worship? I do realize your location presents severe limitations to options. I also wonder if there would be a way of forming a viable online community? Second best I know, yet …

    Hugs and prayers for this desert time.

  2. Tammy Haugen on said:

    OH my friend, I feel your pain and live it every Sunday also… The church can be such a lonely, lonely place. We drive into Saskatoon some weeks and are welcomed with open arms BUT it is not our parish in our community. There is pain in knowing that I am there because it is just too upsetting and difficult to even enter the building of our church… Sunday has become a day apart from other days because it brings more sharply the pain of grief over ‘what was, what could have been, what was wanted’.. and it is hard work to keep the bitterness at bay –
    Know that you are loved.

  3. Such loss in all of this… so give yourself permission to truly grieve it. Rage, lament, weep. It IS loss, hugely so.

    I also wonder about different denominations – though truly ‘get’ why that can be difficult in a small community. Or are there a small group of friends who could meet even very occasionally for faith study/informal worship? I guess I wonder especially about women friends who may be from other backgrounds/church affiliations but who might be interested in a women’s gathering? That would allow for a sense of community, albeit very different…

    None of this is easy. And new life always comes at great cost. I can remember one particularly grief-filled Easter when I finally realised that Mary would have given it all up – all of it, the resurrection included – simply to have the crucifixion never take place. The gospel doesn’t take away the pain or loss. Just promises that is not the end of the story and there will be something else, though it may be almost unrecognisable.

    Many, many prayers. And thank you for your trust and honesty in sharing…

  4. and clearly I am Megan not Sophia?!!!!! Sigh. It has been a long day…

  5. I wrote a response and somehow the site has lost it… after first showing it as originating as Sophia I think this is what I said… (my apologies if it appears twice!)

    Such a huge loss… so above all else, give yourself permission to grieve it. Rage, lament, weep. Because it IS loss.

    I also wonder about finding a temporary home in another denomination – but also truly understand how hard that can be in a small community… Or are there a small group of friends (maybe especially women? from other backgrounds/denominations) might be interested in meeting for study/informal worship? That would help with the sense of community – but also be sufficiently different to help.

    Travelling to new life is never easy. I remember one particularly grief-filled Easter when I finally realised that Mary would have exchanged it all – the resurrection, the establishment of the church, EVERYTHING – in order for the crucifixion to simply not have happened. She didn’t want the risen Christ – she wanted the old Jesus she knew and loved. But the resurrection doesn’t take away the loss. It just promises that there will be something more, some new life, albeit in forms we may hardly recognise…

    Many, many prayers for you as you travel this hard road. And gratitude for your trust and honesty in sharing…

    • Megan – thank you so much. That is the most pastoral response that I have been given throughout this whole sorry mess. I have finally started to give myself permission to grieve – that is what the writing is helping me work through.

      Thank you for reading and for commenting.

  6. Fiona, I am at a loss to come up with the wise words you need to hear right now. I can not imagine my life without the comfortable arms of public worship and fellowship. I too have been an Anglican forever and any other liturgy seems to be missing what I need to hear and smell and taste . We clergy spice find ourselves in a unique situation. our worshiping family is so tied to our personal family and when a rift happens we are left outside looking in , hanging on for dear life and wondering what NOW!
    My advice, find a spot for yourself on Sunday morning, maybe find yourself beside YDH at the neighbouring parish,but find a spot and then let go and let God.

  7. Pingback: Being faithful when it is hard « Faith from the Edges

  8. Pingback: Reflections « Faith from the Edges

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