I was raised in the church most of my life, but I did not fully accept the religion introduced to me, simply attending because my parents were avid members. Later in my journey through life, I came to understand the full capacity of going to church and what it means.
When dismal circumstances occurred in my life, I found my way back. Knowing how many different religions there are, it was hard to choose which one suited me. So when I filled out the prison form, I opted for “Universal,” which meant I could go to any service without having to choose a specific religion. I felt there did not need to be a choice, as we all serve one God. I wanted the complete worshipping experience the prison offered.
Having the privilege to attend various services made me get involved with the church on a daily basis, getting to know the diversities of each. My attendance allowed for my own spiritual growth and the opportunity to praise God in ways I found rewarding. In the different Bible studies, I could become one with the Word, to appreciate and understand what the Bible had to offer me.
I even joined the choir—I know I cannot sing like an angel but knowing God and his angels were listening made me happy. I was praising, worshipping and learning the Word.
The Episcopal services are the ones I came to enjoy the most. The quieter setting has me more connected to my spiritual beliefs and practices. We hear the Word read more slowly which allows it to sink in. When we sing and learn music, I get better at singing. We have communion more often than other services. All these things I do for the Lord and I am willing to do more.
Becoming a member of the church feels like I’ve become part of the family. Through the many conversations and discussions, I feel closer to God and informed and challenged to think more profoundly about how I feel. If there is some debate we can reflect on Scripture and figure it out.
I plan to continue being part of the church when I go home. Maybe I can help others make their lives better in accepting and knowing the Lord, while at the same time working on my own salvation. Being in the Episcopal church has made a tremendous turnaround in my life. I feel, as a member, I can serve God as I come to know the Word in a spiritual setting. I just give myself to God and He does the rest. This family is there for me anytime. Even if you feel alone, you aren’t.
I am thankful for my continued journey and my Episcopalian salvation.