Religion For the Individual

During this past week, I have both presented my book case study on Passionate Journeys as well as have done my congregational observation at the University United Methodist Church. In both instances I have come to the realization that religion is not necessarily the institution which holds in place certain practices, but faith and spirituality, or the idea of religion, comes from the individual.
Reading my book my case study, I found that people from all walks of life find their spirituality through different means in that everyone has their own reasons for searching for religion and seeking out what they believe they need through a religious movement. Much like the United Methodist church, the Pastor’s wife told us that their faith was achieved through one’s experiences and reasoning for wanting to be a part of the faith in the first place. It made me realize that religion is an overall concept which appeals not necessarily to a specific demographic of people, but it tends to a more general variety of the population and it poses as a different role for each person within their own lives (release from sexual repression and lack of family association, Dara Passionate Journeys). Looking at our first lecture in this class and how community, experiences, beliefs, doctrines; all the elements of a religion, come together to make it the way we know it today, I really found that to be true this past week and how people take their everyday experiences and turn them into learning processes which in turn guide them to a community of supporting, loving, and welcoming people who offer something that has been missing, and allow one to, in turn, identify with one religion or another.