Lori Casey BSN MDiv., BCC-PCHAC

Lee I would like to seen the Slovakian church you describe. I have been moved by seeing churches in Europe with bullet holes from past wars. Walking through Notre Dame, Winchester Cathedral and the Doumo  have brought tears to my eyes from their sheer beauty and feeling the holiness of God through the statues, paintings, design structures depicting Christ, the saints, and more.

Anne I echo your feelings of great meaning and connection to God through rituals, those established and new ones we create for specific purposes (saying “goodbye” to a beloved house; remembering, honoring, letting go of grief for our palliative care patients who died).  I did a wedding for a niece who married a Greek Orthodox man and in it we included a Crown ceremony that was especially important to him and his family. For me, spiritual rituals have great power not in and of themselves, but because these outward and visible actions become an inward and spiritual connection to God and a means of God’s grace.

Kathy I appreciate your observations and comments about the disparity of hospitality and offer of worship participation – with other faith traditions and those within Christianity itself.  My first thought was of the exclusions within Christianity concerning who can partake of Communion- who is welcome at the Table. Members? Baptized only? etc…  But then the of unity of my  own denomination is in crisis over who is welcome to pursue ordination, get married, etc.. deeply heartfelt on both sides.