A friend of mine requested to hear my journey of religion and spirituality to become a Christian Witch today. So here is my basic summary of life.
I was born into a Catholic life, went to church most Sundays with my grandma and my dad. The norm was to stay the night at grandma’s Saturday night, the weekends I was with my dad, of course, and go to church first on Sunday, then go walk around Kmart for several hours or so. This was the tradition until high school when I got occupied with Marching Band and several clubs. I stopped caring about religion, honestly. In fact, getting older and still going to church regularly, I was just there because that’s what you do when you spend Saturday at grandma’s, go to church after waking up. I didn’t care for religion, it didn’t seem necessary. The stories were exciting and intriguing. I did a prayer before eating and before many things because it was normal, and everyone else did it. But was I actually praying, worshiping, or really paying attention to the point of the Bible and why? Absolutely not. When my church attendance dropped due to a busy schedule, it didn’t really change me much. I guess you could say I became an atheist for a concise while somewhere in that early high school era, not thinking God was really there, and if He was He wasn’t necessary.
At some point in high school, my mother suggested looking into churches, but none like the one my dad and grandma go to. No, she wanted something different. I honestly didn’t know there were different church styles. I knew about denominations. I knew that we were Catholic, and there were Baptist, Lutheran, and several others. I never knew churches were actually different in any way. Going to a big church that had a large choir and band playing music was the first weird thing. Having a Father that didn’t follow the Catholic protocol of church was odd. Also, the fact they call the guy a Pastor, not a Father. We didn’t stay with this church, it wasn’t the right one. After several churches, we landed at what would become our home church. Even when I went to college, and she moved out of the city, we still watch this church on their live streams and archived streams.
When we found it, it was still pretty small. A small building with a big piece being built next to it. We stayed at this church, this nondenominational church. My mom said this was a good one, and we would come back to it. This was when I started to actually focus on the word of God and the messages given in church. The sermons were made from scratch by this Pastor himself. Each week is always a series, a theme for the time of year or based on current events or just randomized. These series are usually two to six weeks, and each weekly message somehow relates to the theme. Some of my favorite series include Making Change, Overwhelmed, At the Movies, Holiday Mayhem, and Identity Theft. The messages every week are made to be understood; they are spoken straightforward and include Bible verses and sometimes other sources. The Pastor always made it a point to explain what he just read and why he needed to read it. It was understandable, he made it entertaining, and he made it so that we could genuinely take his messages and apply them to life immediately. That plus the rock band playing worship music and free coffee every Sunday made us go back.
Since my mom and I no longer live in that area, we’ve since looked for churches in our new areas but still remain quite loyal to our home church. They record, live stream, and archive everything so you can go back and watch everything as many times as you like. While I love this option, it is beneficial to have a church you can physically attend in your city. I immediately started going to a group called Chi Alpha, which is a campus ministry that can be found in several different universities and colleges around the nation. Someone in my instrument group in the marching band invited me to meet her friends, who then asked me to join their services when they started. This was the group I stayed with for a few years. They are a nondenominational church but have many Evangelical aspects. I truly and fully came back to religion with this group, finding my relationship with God and Jesus once again and keeping up with it. This was a very decent group to attend church and events with for some time, but recently I’ve had to break away. I would explain my reasons, but there are several reasons. So many I’ve decided my reasons for leaving Chi Alpha will be revealed in an entirely separate essay. This will take me some time to write as there is a lot to their name.
I have since found an affirming church that welcomes all people. This is a church that allows the LGBTQ and those that live their lives more spiritually than religiously, so I fit in almost immediately. They really focus on being activists in their city and beyond, making a voice in the problems that affect minorities and anyone that is vulnerable and needs help. Since joining, I’ve become a musician and joined a committee for social justice. Along with this, I’ve also been introduced to a spiritual group in the neighboring city; it’s a safe place for Pagans and Spiritual practitioners in a middle of nowhere area that has events and monthly rituals.
I never ultimately left the Christian faith, but I’ve tried atheism and even looked into real Paganism several times along the way, especially in high school and early college. I’d say I’m now more confident in knowing my title as a Christian Witch, but it was very much a weird roller coaster ride of mind changing and experimenting to get here. I am satisfied with where I am now and always looking to improve spiritually.