Sunday, March 29, 2009

Finding Church, again :: 1

I've been on adventure lately to find a church. For 6 years I've been attending a church off and on, but couldn't commit. After a recent upheaval, I became very aware that it isn't the right place for me.
  • Where to look, where to go?
  • Do I go for me or for the kids?
  • Do I force the kids or let them come if they'd like?

I'd been invited by a new friend (I think we are long-lost buddies) to attend her church. After several months of excuses (I have a cold, my kids have colds, my dog has a cold, etc) it was time to take the plunge.

We went last week, Baby Girl and I. I dropped her off in little kid church and with my friend by my side, went in to worship.

Now, let me give a little background. I was raised Mormon. I quit attending that church when I was 18 and left home. Beginning college, dating, living on my own gave me perspective; the Mormon church wasn't for me. I met my now-husband, and he was raised Catholic. He wasn't attending a church and hadn't for quite some time. I was going to college at a Lutheran school. We got engaged and were married by my Lutheran religion professor. Take a minute and sort all of that out. When my oldest, Pepe, began preschool we attended a Presbyterian church off and on. Now, I'm checking out this new church which is United Methodist...

I sit down in worship and I begin to panic... my kiddo is in kid-church so I have no excuse to get up and leave... no potty breaks, drinks of water, etc. I have to take this like a big-girl. First things first, time to sing. Great... love the music... WHAT? I have to stand. Okay... I can do this, I'll just hold on to this pew in front of me. Whew... that's over. WHAT? we have to keep standing and singing... for three more songs. Ah, done. I can now become one with my seat. Oh, no... not yet, we are standing again!

About this time, whether or not my friend can sense it she is whispering to me and showing me items in the bulletin as I am PITTING OUT! I mean full-on, sweating, heart beating, pulse racing PIT OUT. Feeling the need to bolt, the Pastor stands and begins his sermon. I'm begin to calm down. I'm impressed with what I see. He is dressed in a very nice suit. He is in his mid 50's I assume and his voice is firm, but calming. He stand in front of the pulpit, wearing a microphone. He moves slowly and gracefully across the steps all the while speaking and reciting his sermon. I notice he has no notes. His sermon is delivered and I am impressed. I don't know that I'm so impressed with the sermon as how he managed to give it. I'm a teacher. I appreciate someone with a plan that is executable. He taught, redirected, reaffirmed and never wavered or became off topic. Hmmm, maybe this isn't so bad. And then, we sing... again. Don't get me wrong, I love music. I love to sing. But I grew up singing from a hymnal... no guitar, drums and clapping. Just sitting with a song at the beginning, middle and end of the service. I enjoy this music, I'm just don't do well with change.

Worship is over... I collect Baby Girl and I race home. On my short drive, my breathing becomes normal, and I realize that I am smiling. I enjoyed the service. Baby Girl hasn't stopped talking about her class. Her excitement is contagious. We will return... maybe with the boys in tow next time.


Anonymous said...

You are braver than me.

Imagine attending a church where suddenly someone start speaking "in tongue" and some random guy rises from the audience and starts singing - and no one but yourself thinks this is totally out of the ordinary. (that was me and the last church I ever visited).

I hope you find some place that fits you and the family!

Fairfacts said...

For me, it's not a matter of finding what's comfortable. It's a matter of finding out what's true. All religions have some truth. But is there any church that has it all?
I respect the fact that you feel comfortable there, and over-came your fears and anxieties. But when it gets down to it, I would think that truth would be the object of your search, not comfortable feelings.