So I realized that I’ve been sitting on something really valuable that I ought to share with my readership. Maybe this is obvious, but I’m going to talk about it anyway. I have gotten way, way better at absorbing the actual content of church sermons since I started taking notes. Things just sink in better if I write them down. The Catholic churches I was brought up in were formal to the point of assuming the ‘tweens and older would sit respectfully still during mass. Babies crying were expected to be rushed out into a hall or nearby room to minimize noise disruptions. This lent an air of not wanting to appear distracted. As such I never felt comfortable taking notes. With the advent of my project I became an observer. It freed me to be able to do things like dress in jeans, leave early, or take notes during a sermon. This has shown itself to be something of an unexpected perk. Because of this project I’m accumulating a much higher volume of information on religious topics. This comes not just from the sermon content but from the readings of scripture and even the songs we sing. There are so many things to notice. And I can write most of them down in my hard copy journal. I’m sure there are others out there not doing this who could benefit from note-taking. We do go to church to learn about God, don’t we? We shouldn’t feel weird about treating the sermons as lessons with the pastor or deacon as the teacher.