My name is Matthew Ciszek, and I am a churchgeek. My spiritual autobiography could best be described as the “long and winding road”. I was born into the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, and quickly found that this was not the right faith community for a “liturgy queen” and a budding gay man like myself. I “tried on” a number of faith traditions and spiritual paths, including Unitarian Universalism, reform Judaism, liberal Lutheranism, and secular humanism, before I settled on the particular tradition of “American Anglicanism”, known as the Episcopal Church.
If you would have asked me two or three years ago, I was certain that I was being called to become a priest in the Episcopal Church. I was really into the Church at that time, and felt that I had finally found my vocation. I had been an Episcopalian for over 10 years, but never really plumbed the depths of the Church I had grown to love. I started the discernment process, met with a spiritual director, and everything, but somewhere along the way, I came to the realization that this was not meant to be. I was much more jazzed about being a priest than anyone else was. Discernment felt like a long slog and I didn’t feel like I was being honest with anyone. Worst of all, I felt like a door was being closed to me, and I had a lot of bitterness and resentment because of this.
So I stepped away from the Church for a while. I disconnected from people I had met and cherished. I just couldn’t face the prospect of being part of it all. Recently I’ve felt the pull back toward the Church. I miss the community, liturgy, and spirituality of the Church. I needed to step away for a while to regroup and press reset, and now am starting anew. I’m commissioning this new blog as an outlet for my writing, reflection, and discussion of matters of faith and spirituality, religion and theology, liturgy and music, and much more. I welcome you to join me in my journey as I begin again.