My own little resurrection: going back to church

We did it! We went to church today!

Easter Sunday 2013

Easter Sunday 2013

After I wrote my last post, I thought it’d be nice to maybe, possibly, we’ll-see go to church for Easter Sunday. I brought it up to Cap’n Daddy Friday night, and he said that he had been thinking the same thing. (Great minds?)

But which church?

I wanted to find a church that would feel “right” to us. That’s not an easy task, though, because I am highly allergic to evangelical Christianity. Obviously that flavor of Christianity speaks to lots of folks, but frankly, it repels me like oil repels water. If I got mixed up with an evangelical church, I’d need an Epi-Pen of feminist theology and inclusive language to ward off serious reactions. It is simply Not For Me.

Unfortunately (for me), it seems like evangelicalism is the norm for a lot of Protestant churches. So I did what I’ve done in the past, which has served me well––I googled churches that are “welcoming and affirming.” I’ve found that churches that welcome and support the LGBT community typically mesh well with my understanding of my faith–I’m heartened to know that they’re much more common than they used to be. (PROGRESS!)

I found several churches in our area that passed the W&A test. After checking out their websites, I strongly felt an urge to attend a nearby Unitarian Universalist church. To be honest, I was a bit skeptical. Cap’n was flat-out wary. “They probably don’t even believe in the resurrection,” he groused. “If we’re going to church on Easter, I want to celebrate Easter.” He had a point. I mean, aren’t Unitarians kinda nuts? Are they even Christian? But I still felt drawn to that church, and ultimately I convinced Cap’n to give it a shot.

We went. I loved it. My soul felt at home. *happy sigh* Shortly after the service began, I sent up a silent prayer of thanks for leading us to this church, because that’s what it felt like––we were led there.

 

 

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The church was simple but beautiful. The size was perfect––not too big, not too small. The service was lovely. The music was lovely. The hymnal even has inclusive language! The people were so friendly and warm without being overbearing (I’m looking at you, mainline Protestant congregations). Bucko was welcome to stay with us rather than go to the nursery. We kept him with us until he became too loud––he was enjoying himself a little too boisterously––so Cap’n took him outside for the remainder of the service, although everyone kept saying he could stay. (I like churches that welcome babies and children in the worship service, and are perfectly okay with babies and children being babies and children––which is to say, not silent.) They had coffee and homemade pumpkin bread after the service, and we talked to several perfectly nice people who all fawned over our little red-headed extrovert.

We will go back. 🙂

Happy Easter from the Easter Bucko!

Happy Easter from the Easter Bucko!

Apropos to nothing: When Bucko woke up this morning, Cap’n quipped, “He is risen. He is risen indeed.” I couldn’t help but laugh.

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With my guilt complex, I’d make a good Catholic

So it’s Good Friday . . . which reminds me, I’ve been a “bad” Christian.

My crime? Not going to church. Like, ever.

Sigh.

We didn’t mean to end up like this. Really, we didn’t. Cap’n Daddy and I were SUPER involved with church before he started his active duty service. Before we began Army life, we lived in a house owned by our church, literally right across the parking lot from our church. We had FOUR pastors officiate our wedding! We were both in the church choir. We were active with the college-age Wednesday night group. We were REALLY involved.

But after we moved away from our home church, we never really got back into it. We tried, to some degree, when we lived in Kansas. We found a perfectly wonderful church there. We just didn’t go very often. It was just easier to sleep in on Sundays, honestly. After a while, we stopped pretending we were going to try to go to church that week.

Then we moved to the Hudson Valley, where we are now. We never found a church here. We never tried––well, not beyond a cursory online search. I remember we did find a few candidates, but we never really made an effort to go.

So now it’s our first Easter as a real family––Mommy, Daddy, and Baby––and it’s suddenly hitting me: we don’t have a church. No dressing up on Sunday morning, no cute spring baby outfit. (Yes, of course Easter is more than that . . . .) I just realized yesterday that I need to throw together an Easter basket for Bucko! Eeek.

I guess it’s not that big of a deal quite yet, while Bucko is still a baby, but soon he’ll be old enough to understand some Bible stories and basic tenets of Christianity (be nice to each other, love one another, etc.). I want him to grow up with church as a part of his life. I want him to develop some kind of faith, to have some spirituality in his childhood. I want Christmas to be more than Santa, for Easter to be more than the Easter Bunny.

But I’ve gotta find a church. I’ve gotta make an effort. It’s not going to happen by itself.

But . . . .

I guess what’s holding me back is a belief––a conviction––that we’re not going to find the “right” church. So why try? I know, that’s a defeatist attitude. Self-fulfilling prophecy.

Yet that conviction persists.

(There is one church that I know I’d love to attend, but unfortunately, we don’t live in Mount Prospect, Illinois. Now that’s my kind of church. I know I’d love it because Cap’n Daddy and I both adore the pastor there, who was the associate pastor of our home church back in Ohio.)

I know there are liberal churches out there. We just have to find them, wherever we are living. We have to make the effort.

To be continued . . . .