Monday, August 8, 2011

On Finding a Church

Part of this move is finding a new church. I have attended the same church for the past 13 years or so. I never really looked for a church too seriously when we moved away and then I would move back and there would be my church. We knew we had to find a church and we wasted no time getting started. Last night we went to an evening service that you could certainly call alternative. All the pieces of liturgy were there but you had to look for them in order to recognize them.

Lilia was a handful is the nicest possible way to put it. I didn't realize how challenging it would be to have her in a totally new church environment. She thought it was play time and Paul and I were sweating with anxiety about how she was crazy. We almost left half way through the worship but stuck it out taking turns with her. Luckily the people there were very understanding and asked to to keep bringing her back. That wins them major points in our book.

On the way home I looked at Paul and said we have to talk about what kind of church we want to raise Lilia in. It just sort of hit both of us, we have a choice. Neither of us was raised in a church or Sunday school so we are kind of at a loss. When I finish school and ordination, we might not have a choice if I end up in full time church ministry, but right now we do.

The church (and by church I mean the people not the building) was very progressive, very unstructured, very open, very welcoming. Paul didn't really get into the worship, I could have if I wasn't so stressed about baby wrangling. We agreed to try it again for a few weeks because it is going to take some time to feel it out and get Lilia into acting like a human rather than a feral cat.

So what do we want for her? What do we want to teach her about God, Jesus, church, people? The thing is in this service yesterday there were canoodling lesbians, I debated if I wanted to post that, I don't know them but it still seems like an invasion of their privacy. I have seen lots of church canoodlers before but never of the same gender. I love that they were comfortable enough in this place, in this time of worship to be who God made them to be. I can certainly learn a lot from that, because let's be honest we all put on a few masks in church, don't we?

There was not a structured Sunday school program though. Is that important? Here's my gut, in a world where so many Christians are teaching hate and fear; I think it is much more important for Lilia to be raised in a place where she learns love and acceptance than it is for her to memorize the story of Jonah and the Whale (big fish). However when she is older, I think the right youth program will be a safe place for her to develop and mature in her own faith.

Our temporary decision, explore traditional churches in the morning hours while trying to go a little deeper in relationship with this church in the evening hours. Crazy for a girl who just told you her child acts like a feral cat in worship.

Today I am grateful for the opportunity to choose what we teach our daughter about God.
May you be blessed in intentional chooses in your life.

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