Choosing to Learn More About YOUR Religion
The Decision to Learn More
I had attended worship services for a long time when I went out of town to see a friend of the same faith. They asked if I would like to attend services with them. I agreed and we went to worship together.
During the sermon, a topic was brought up that I was very unfamiliar with. I actually took a book out of my purse to make notes on inside the cover as I did not have paper with me. Afterwards, when I inquired for more information, I was told that the entire sermon was online for anyone who wanted to watch it.
Intrigued, I knew I wanted to learn more about the topic, and, who knew that I would begin the journey to know more about my faith.
Sources Can Be Tricky
The topic I chose to learn more about was a bit controversial, but I was very convinced of my desire to learn more. Internet searches can be a valuable starting place, but they are not always reliable. Additionally, in terms of religion, different groups of the same religion can place emphasis on different places of their religious observances. Online, a person can write their thoughts and opinions, but it is not necessarily that of the place where they worship.
I chose to get some ideas from the internet, but then to follow up at the libraries in my area. A librarian suggested that I read about the history of my faith, not as written from a religious perspective, but from a historical one. I agreed with her suggestion and I am glad that I did. Those books were wonderful choices that allowed me to see different facets of my faith and where the faith base was born from.
Also on the table were to go to book stores, and to my religious home once I had more information in front of me.
Ask Questions. Take Notes
In asking more about the topic I was intrigued about, I discovered many more things about my religion that I did not know. I also made friends along the way, they were very helpful in my search.
I chose to speak with the heads of my religion, but not where I worshiped so that I could have different perspective on the issue that I was looking up. That was a wise choice, because it opened the doors for some very deep and insightful dialogues that I would have never had otherwise.
I wrote down the name of the person and their contact information every single time that I spoke to a new person. It was helpful if I needed to call back for clarification, I knew where the information came from, and I could quickly reach them.
Keep an Open Mind, and a Closed Mouth
All people love to talk about themselves. Even the ones that say that they don't like to talk about themselves will talk about themselves. In speaking about beliefs and topics, I learned a lot about the people in my religious community.
It was very insightful to see what the views were from worship house to worship house. Even secretaries have full formed dynamic opinions.
Again, by taking notes, I was able to get a very clear idea of perceptions and issues.
Read All About It!
Reading about my religion allowed me to learn more about my religion, change some of my perceptions that I learned were legends and myths, and most importantly of all, learn more about myself and how I felt about some of the theological issues that I learned.
In the beginning, I was only interested in learning about one issue. Now, I find myself more comfortable about learning new topics. I correspond with a number of people online who I have never met, but we share the same yearning to know more. I feel as though learning has made me stronger.
Talk With Your Religious Leaders
After I went on my learning quest, I finally called and made an appointment with my religious leader in my worship home. I chose to go to them last because I wanted to get the viewpoints of others first.
We spoke a long time, and then I was asked if I would be willing to share the notes that I had made so that he could create a sermon based on the topic I had been researching. I felt really good about that, but even better was the rapport that I built. I know that friendship is give and take, and now I feel as though I am closer to the leaders of my religion because I am making myself be an active part of my religion.
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