Faith and Fate

Column by Toni Reynolds on 19 March 2020 0 Comments

The below offering was inspired by a conversation with my favorite Rabbi Brian Zachary Mayer and the late, great Peter Tosh. Thanks for inviting the Selah, Rabbi. Rest in Power, Peter.

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Hi, I am An Episcopalian now, I was Roman Catholic up to about four years ago, I’m 62. I would consider myself a progressive christian, but I’m wondering is it necessary to go attend Sunday services? I sometimes wonder if I’m doing it out of guilt or that God will show me favor or listen better. Yours thoughts please and any reading on said topic would be much appreciated.


Dear Bryan,
I think “necessary” might be the wrong word here.  Necessary says to me obligatory, and my faith doesn’t tell me I’m obligated to attend Sunday services…. especially considering how organized Christianity is largely colonized and thrives within a white supremacist patriarchal system. 
I often ask the question instead - what does God desire? 

God desires being in relationship with her, so that we can best know and bring about her kin-dom on Earth as it is in heaven.  
So then we ask, how does one know God’s desires?  We learn God’s desires through the practices of our everydays.  In waking our children up for school, in commuting to work, in seeing a stranger across from us on the Subway, in the clouds, in our meditative practices, in our study of Biblical texts, in our prayers.  Additionally, we know God in community, and therefore attending SOMETHING with other God seeking and believing people enhances and equips our faith and our relationship with God.  This could be a book study, a dinner group, a service activity, or worship.  All of these things, then, become rehearsing the reign of God, which is important to our faith.   
Finally, I do not believe that God shows favor or “listens better” based on our Sunday service attendance; but rather, we become more like God in our intentional relational practices to seek and see and commune with the Divine.

~ Rev. Amanda Hambrick Ashcraft




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