For all that I’m a Heathen now, I was actually pretty involved in the church back in the old days. My parents weren’t so much devout (though they were faithful) as they just wanted my brother and I to have an education of the faith.
We went to a weekly youth group where we attended Bible Study (we girls got to have a special class on the women of the Bible which was actually pretty awesome), ran around outside, and did arts and crafts n’ shit. Being a rebellious little shit, I resisted being sent to church twice a week but for all I complained I actually had a pretty good time. I mean, I was still a rebellious, belligerent little shit who questioned everything and tended to piss people off, but I still had fun.
It was through the youth group that I got into a lot of other stuff in the church. I was an Acolyte (ie an alter girl) for several years. I lit candles, carried crosses, served wine, read passages, sang, performed little sermon skits, the whole deal. I was also in the Christmas pageant for years. I’ve been a singing angel, the angel Gabriel (who was always played by a girl for some damn reason), Elizabeth, a narrator, a shepherd, and the Virgin Mary (hilariously, me and my Joseph were both little white kids while our baby Jesus, ‘played’ by the 6-month-old son of one of the parishioners, was black).
I was, like, HELLA churched. Which is funny, considering what a heretic I’ve turned out to be. Still, many of my memories of the church are fond ones. There were a lot of things I didn’t agree with, and some of the parishoners were overbearing dogmatic assholes, but mostly I got a pretty solid education on the Bible and met some nice people.
I had some problems with Christianity and the organized Church, but I didn’t leave in anger. It was more of a “Well, it’s been real, bye.” I changed faiths because I wanted to. I made a conscious decision to believe as I do. No one forced me to, God or human.