When I was growing up, my mother was the spiritual head of our household. If we were going to church, it was because she made us get up and go. My dad was only present for Easter and Christmas speeches until he joined the San Francisco Christian Center. My mother didn’t allow us to listen to secular music on Sundays and we always wore dresses and stockings to service. She meant well, and there was no harm in her making sure we had some sort of spirituality in our upbringing.
My mother took her lead from her mother, who was and still is, a devout Pentecostal Christian. To this day, I have never seen my grandmother wear makeup or pants, or watch anything other than religious programming on TV. She, too, was the spiritual head of her household; my grandpa was exempt. I may have seen him in church twice when I was growing up.
I don’t remember really liking church other than when we would bring our Easter baskets with us to see who’s was biggest. I didn’t hate it, but church was long and boring and I didn’t understand the sermons. However, I was still
forcefully very involved: my grandmother made sure we went to Sunday school, sang in the children’s choir, and attended Friday youth nights. I appreciate the foundation she provided, I don’t have to fumble through the Bible to find the books and every now and again, to my husband’s amazement, I’ll even quote a little scripture.
College was a great time to explore other churches and denominations and have different religious experiences. I was a part of a Christian group on campus and I even spent a summer as a counselor at a Christian camp in Missouri. I also regularly attended a church that I actually enjoyed.
When I came back to the Bay Area, I was comfortable in my own spirituality. I decided not to go back to my family church, because I didn’t really agree with the principals and, I didn’t have to! My husband David was raised Catholic, so sometimes we even went to mass instead. My grandmother didn’t really understand or agree with my choices; actually, I think I was the first person in our family to go to a different church. So naturally, when I chose to get married in a beautiful Catholic Church, my grandma wasn’t excited. I remember her saying, “you weren’t raised that way,” to which my response was: “you don’t have to come to the wedding.” I knew she wouldn’t miss it, and of course, she was there, but I did feel as though I needed to declare my religious independence.
The influences are still there, or maybe history just repeats itself. For example, I am the spiritual head of my household; I don’t listen to much secular music on Sundays, and I also still dress up for services (minus the stockings.) But I do my own thing too: I made sure our church had an active children’s program because I don’t want my kids thinking all church is boring, and our church has a strong focus on marriage, which means my husband is an active participant. We attend marriage retreats and do community service projects with our kids; its a well-rounded multi-cultural church that we all love.
I am in a good place, and I believe it’s where God envisioned I would be. I am an open-minded Christian. So once I heard about the Beyoncé Mass, I was immediately intrigued and excited. I didn’t go to praise Beyonce’, let’s be clear: I went to praise Jesus while singing and dancing to Beyonce’s songs, along with over 900 others. I also enjoyed Reverend Yolanda Norton’s sermon and traded stories with some attendees about what brought them to the service. Overall, I’d say it was a good time; I might even attend another Wednesday service at The Vine.
I believe Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior and he died on the cross for our sins and rose again. I don’t believe the bible literally restricts women from wearing pants and I do believe Beyonce is one of the greatest performers of our time.