Brothers and sisters, consider this: Faith is more important than religion. I attend an Episcopal church, but I belong to God. At church, I experience a great and holy communion of fellowship with my dear brothers and sisters. I cherish these moments. I have often experienced the presence of the Holy Spirit when I am present in the sanctuary, surrounded by God’s people.
I am, however, not a religious person. I cannot attend to the written liturgy of a religion because it is written by mankind’s thoughts of our relationship with God. I cannot abide by tenants written hundreds of years ago, when life was so different that what I experience. What I can do is take what I learn in church, learn by reading the Bible, the Qur’an, and other holy literature to understand more fully what my relationship with God is – and what God’s relationship with me is.
I have studied my faith in God for the better part of 80 years. I have learned from many people including all of the clergy that have been in my life forever. I find that walking in the light of faith, the path that Jesus shows us, my faith has left any and all church liturgy as beautiful as it is; my faith has grown. In the light of faith, I have grown to something much greater, trust. The trust I have in God and my devotion to God, comforts me and allows me to know that all is well, and all will always be well.
©Russell Kendall Carter