on finding a church

19 Jul

library cards.

house to rent.

church.

When Captain J and I post up at a new duty station, these are among the first tasks we try to accomplish when we get there.

Two outta three ain’t bad.

We’re still working on the latter, as is usually the case when we move. Finding a place to worship is so important and there are many factors contributing to our feeling comfortable doing so. Of course, we want to agree with the main belief system, but there are other things to consider.

I grew up in a Baptist church. J grew up in non-denominational places of worship. I’m pretty open in this area so since we’ve been married, we have gravitated toward non-denominational churches. Finding one in the middle of nowhere, Louisiana is quite the task. We thought we had found one last Sunday and we decided to give it a whirl.

As we walked in, faces of every size, shape, color, and age greeted us with welcoming messages–This was a good sign. As we proceeded through the sanctuary, I looked around, noting the ambience. This church was one where everyone made it a point to come talk to you, to let you know you were welcome there. This can be great or it can be incredibly uncomfortable if you’re socially challenged as I can often be. Still, I was happy to be able to worship that day with these really genuine Christians.

The icing on the cake was when a middle aged black woman delivered her freshly baked bread to all the newcomers. Umm, SCORE! It’s truly fantastic and tasty, as we knew it would be. The best part about it was that she was just so insistent that we receive a loaf even though we didn’t tell anyone we were first time guests. She went out of her way to create opportunity for people to have a better day. That’s one of my favorite qualities in a person. This gift marked the end of our comfort zone, however…

The sermon progressed for hours. People shouted, they spoke in tongues, the pastor danced and stomped and spewed spittle as he spoke. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this scene, it’s also not typically what we do when we go to church. It provided a learning opportunity for us, for sure. We knew we were in trouble when he set off behind a row of people, jumping on the pew, and walking over to talk with us.

He said a lovely prayer for the two of us, our marriage, and our baby boy. It was so comforting to me, even though I was awkward in being the center of attention for those few minutes. I appreciated his prayer for health and happiness for all of us.

His message was one of forgiveness, something I always need to hear. We were able to sing enthusiastically and praise God in a way we had never experienced before. It was an awesome experience!

Although, I think we’ll try some place a little less nerve-racking next week, a place a little more Mrs. K and Captain J (ish), if you please. The search continues, but that’s okay. God will put us right where He wants us- He always does.

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