I am pleased to be here. I was brought up Roman Catholic, and always was interested in religion. My father is Jewish, and I explored Unitarian Universalism, various mainline denominations, Old Catholicism and various Independent Catholic movements, Reform Judaism, Orthodox Judaism, even Messianic/Jews for Jesus over the years. I was confirmed in the RC church at 13. My politics and morals on different issues changed over the years, but I fell in love with the Tridentine Mass when I was RC. I found the RC of my upbringing pretty saccharine and it just didn't do it for me. I was received into the Episcopal Church 5 years ago. I live in tension and I'm okay with that. That's one of the things that drew me to Anglicanism; as a via media, there is this dialectical tension between different poles (Reformed, Catholic, Liberal, Conservative, etc.), and at the end of the day, it is more of how we worship that matters than the specifics of theology (the beauty of a tradition that is Prayer Book focused rather than Confessional). Ironically, I find this to be very similar to Judaism, and I guess it's no surprise that Anglicans and Jews in America are both well-educated, well-to-do religious groups who value questioning and intellectual inquiry over fundamentalist absolutism. The treatment of LGBT people and women in the RC church was a big deal to me, as well as the overall undemocratic nature of how decisions are made and how the Church is governed. I love that I don't have to leave my moral agency at the door, and that I don't have to check my mind at the door. At the same time, I love the Mysterious, mystical, sacramental, and incarnational nature of the faith. It is perfectly fine that perhaps we don't have all the answers; for me, it is enough that the Eucharist is a Mystery, and that I can believe in the Real Presence without hairsplitting, casuistic philosophies such as Transubstantiation. And yet at the same time, I admire that sort of intellectual rigor. So as you can tell, perhaps I am a work in progress, but what I do know is that I find the Anglo-Catholic faith of the Anglican tradition to be where I find a home. I still enjoy experiencing the worship of Mainline Protestants and Roman Catholics (Orthodox churches always felt too ethnic and exclusive), and occasionally, will attend Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu events, as someone who experiences "holy envy," according to Bishop Stendahl. And I also have no problem worshiping with Anglicans who would disagree with my views on homosexuality and abortion. For me, that's fine, because the essence is Jesus Christ, the boundless Love of God, and the way I experience the outpouring of Grace in the Eucharist, in my devotion to the Blessed Mother, in praying the Stations of the Cross, in feeling the power of God hover above me in the Eucharistic Benediction, in praying the Daily Office, or the way in which I feel God when I engage in acts of social justice, service to the poor, etc. Some of my favorite theologians (some of them saints) are Bishop Frank Weston, Vernon Staley, Lancelot Andrewes, the Caroline Divines, John Henry Newman, John Keble, Edward Bouverie Pusey, Frederick Denison Maurice, Charles Gore, William Temple, James Pike, John Shelby Spong, Marcus Borg, Elaine Pagels, Teilhard de Chardin, Joan Chittister, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Benedict of Nursia, Walter Bruegemann, and too many others to list. As iron sharpens iron, I hope the friendships made here will be edifying.