It was so nice to go to a church I actually belong to, for once.
Easter Sunday I joined the church I’ve been attending for the past year. It took me a while to get up the courage; I haven’t been a member of a church in something like six years. Not because I haven’t been going, but because I’ve just never joined. I went to a church for four years that didn’t have “members”, and although it seemed original at the time, after a while my family began to miss that sense of belonging, of family.
So, now I’m a member of a church again. This church is unlike anything I’ve ever been to before, at least that I remember. It seems like my whole life I was never more than a face in the crowd, just another church-goer, not really anyone of consequence, and so that’s how I was treated. Here, though, everybody knows my name (although I can’t yet remember anyone else’s). The pastor actually asks my parents about me when I’m not there. I’m remembered. It’s amazing. Typically, at the beginning of services (at least, Baptist services) there’s a short time where everyone is supposed to great one another, and so on. In most churches I’ve been to, this never lasts more than a couple minutes–at this church, the minister of music has to get up and tell everyone to stop “greeting” so we can get on with the singing. (This morning, everyone ignored him. It was pretty amusing.) There’s a degree of love and compassion there that is seldom found in the world today.
If you’re a church-going person, then you know that nearly every church you go to you’re bound to hear a sermon on tithing sooner or later. In this church, I haven’t heard one yet. I recall early last summer, one family stood up and told the congregation (about two hundred people) that they felt called to go on a few week long trip to Romania, but the cost was three thousand dollars and they had no way of raising it. It was decided then and there that the church would help them go, so a quick collection was takenm up on their behalf. After the service was over, the money was counted. There was donated not three thousand dollars, but ten thousand dollars. From two hundred people. I was dumbfounded.
Anyways, enough rambing about that. Suffice to say I’m glad I’ve finally found a place so welcoming and loving. I’m loathe to leave it once the summer ends.