Mother was brought up Episcopalian, Dad was an cultural Jew brought up in the depression. His family burned a candle on Rosh Hashanah. That was it. I’m not sure why we went to the Unitarian church, but my guess is that it was for social climbing purposes. The rich from Wilbraham went there and my parents developed friends who had nice houses and could afford steak every night if they wanted it, not just on Friday nights.
Sixth grade Sunday school in the Unitarian church meant we would spend the year visiting different religions that were within driving distance. Catholic mass, a Quaker meeting, and the one I remember the best, a Mormon church. It was in the fall that we visited the Mormon church. How can I remember that so clearly? Well, I had a whole outfit that my mother had sewn for me, except for the sneakers and a purse, made from real Indian Madras. None of it matched, as was all the rage. A brand new, not even washed yet blouse and a wrap-around skirt.
The church was huge, with a main floor and balcony. Both floors were filled with people. We sat in the balcony, Mr. Leary, our teacher, and the 10 or 12 sixth graders that made up the class. Nope, I don’t remember what the sermon was about. What I’ll never forget was how they do communion. I’m sure you’ve seen them before, communion trays. They have inserts that can hold up to 60 little cups of liquid, which in the case of the Mormon church is water. (I don’t get that, nor do I get it that mainstream Christian churches use grape juice rather than wine. Allow me a little rant…first of all grapes by nature have yeast on them that ferment grapes. Secondly, at the wedding of Cana Yahshua himself turned water into wine. All the bible says about drinking is to not be a drunkard. end rant)
You might have guessed it by now. As the tray passed into my hands it tipped and the contents of 40 little cups of water dumped right on my skirt. I stood up fast, dropping the tray to the floor, where the rest of the water, and what hadn’t soaked into my now muddy colored Madras lap, made muddy splotches on my Madras sneakers. I was mortified of course. We had a good laugh about it though on the way home and Mr. Leary explained what happened to Mother so I would not get into trouble.
The Unitarian church was a good church to go to learn about things. It was for that reason I took my own children there when they were in elementary school. We had a really good guy as the minister, Kit. He was bright, creative, caring. He had quite the following and made the church a vibrant place. Then he got cancer. Once when he was very sick he wanted to know where the staff from the 23 Psalm was. Someone got him one. The last time I saw Kit was just before he died. He was standing in the sanctuary, all alone, and a glow seemed to encase him. Like a fog rolling in on little cats feet, if you know what I mean. He looked at me and smiled, then turned and went through the door to his office. He died just a few days after that.
Kit died in 1996 and later that year I was saved.
Isaiah 6:1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.
But more about that later. I’m getting ahead of myself.