Saturday, September 15, 2007

It's been so long...

There has been so much happening in my life -- faith-wise and other-wise -- that I can't believe I haven't updated. But I guess I've just been too busy.

First of all, Ryan proposed! I'm sure all of you who read this know this by now, but I had to say it just to get it on the record.

I totally expected it, but it is still all so overwhelming. It's strange to go from being "just a girlfriend" in everyone's eyes to Ryan's "very important life partner." As morbid as this sounds, I go from not being mentioned in the standard obituary to being the first person listed. That's a pretty big leap. (Please excuse the morbidity. I used to write obituaries as a part-time gig!)

So obviously in regards to that, Ryan and I met with the rabbi who is going to marry us Aug. 31, 2008, in Lawrence, Kan. I couldn't be happier! She currently serves the congregation in Topeka, Kan., but she has ties to Omaha. What could be better? She seems so warm and loving, and she said it was very important for her to meet with us several times and for us to participate in a local congregation. She is reform, so she said she wouldn't require me to convert pre-ceremony, as long as I was exploring my faith. She seems like a perfect fit for us, and I love the fact that she is local for my parents in case they want to go to services or meet with her to learn more before the ceremony.

I think a lot of people expected us to ask the rabbi in Fayetteville to perform the ceremony. That's a good segue to my next thought...

Ryan and I have decided to explore the other synagogue in our area. We were about ready to submit our membership application when I realized I didn't feel comfortable at the synagogue where we have been attending Basic Judaism classes.

As I've talked about before, living in Northwest Arkansas and trying to be Jewish has some challenges. There are two major synagogues in the area. Both are reform. Both hold services only once or twice a year. The synagogue we've been involved with thus far only has Friday services. They hold Torah study on Saturday mornings, when most synagogues traditionally hold longer services. The other synagogue holds longer services on one Saturday a month. Because of my schedule, I would never be able to attend services on Fridays, so we're going to explore the other synagogue. We're going to try to attend Yom Kippur services at the synagogue next Saturday.

This makes me a bit uncomfortable. As anyone in a small Midwestern town knows, when you change houses of worship it tends to be a big deal. Even though we have legitimate reasons for exploring the other synagogue and likely joining, I feel guilty. We're paying for our Basic Judaism classes separately, so there's no obligation there, but it's still strange when the rabbi asks us how our membership application is going.

Speaking of Yom Kippur (sorry this post is a little stream of conscious), I'm excited to fast again for my second year recognizing the holiday. Maybe this year I'll have a clue why I'm not eating or drinking anything for 24 hours!

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