Someone requested a “ask the spiritual leader” in a “what types of ‘Ask The’ threads would you like to see” thread going on right now.
I graduated from a small, private, conservative religious college in southwestern Missouri with full intentions of a career in the ministry. After graduation, I went straight to Kashiwazaki, Japan to teach English to an English teaching/Christian missionary outfit. In all honesty, I would probably still be doing the same work in Japan had I been working for better people.
After Japan fizzled out I took a ministry at Amoret Christian Church in Amoret, Missouri (a little farming town down the road from Kansas City). Full-on Bible-thumping preaching every Sunday for a number of years, with plenty of weddings, funerals, and baptisms to boot. I preached a literal 6-day creation, no sex before marriage, the whole bit.
My ministry in Amoret ended (long story), and I decided the ministry wasn’t for me. That’s been well over ten years ago. Now I’m just a regular layperson. I still go to church every Sunday, and I’m still very involved with my church, particularly in the area of children’s ministry. There are some things my church teaches that I’m not 100% comfortable with, but in the main I believe that my church and my spirituality are a good fit.
Spiritually, I’m in a much different place than where I was a decade and a half ago. I drink. I smoke pot. I no longer believe in a literal 6-day creation (I’m leaning toward Theistic Evolution at the moment, but I’m not fully committed to that idea, either). I’m also toying with the idea of incorporating some Buddhism into my life. The Sangamon Zen Socity has meditations every Saturday at the Unitarian Universalist Church; I may stop by now that chess season is over (I coach chess at a local Christian school).
Ask me anything you want, I’ll be honest. I’d prefer not to be drawn into debates about my beliefs, as there’s plenty of room in GD for that type of thing. I’d also prefer not to be called upon to justify my actions; those were a decade and a half ago and I’m a different person now.