If you came across my internet dating profile, you would read as part of my introduction that “I’m not a church goer – was dragged there on Sundays as a child and consider myself on ‘early release’ for time served”.
It is a sentiment in which many of us can relate. When given the choice as a teen and standing at the crossroads between organized religion or sleeping in Sundays, I chose the latter and haven’t looked back. I don’t mind telling the truth about it, either. Being honest is one part of the Christian way I was raised.
Somehow, however, I visited three churches last weekend – one informal and two opposite. They reminded me of the value of religious fellowship, tradition and teaching.
The first is Friday Happy Hour. I meet religiously (Ha ha! Get it?) with a group of good friends at the end of our busy weeks and share about them and us. We go to the same place every week. Once there, it doesn’t matter whatever crosses we are currently bearing. We are loved and cared for amongst friends for about two hours each week are therefore okay.
This type of fellowship is technically not at a church, but is very church-like. That is, we gather, share and feel good. I am grateful to be part of it.
Saturday I went to a beautiful little girl’s Baptism in St. Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church. It has a spectacular view of Lake Calhoun, as well being spectacularly appointed inside. The Priest explained the ways of Greek Orthodox tradition before each step occurred. This made the event more meaningful for me. Towards the end of the baptism, the priest clasped a necklace with a small silver cross around the toddler’s neck as is customary.
Many religions have ceremonies and traditions that help members follow specific ways of believing. I enjoyed learning about Baptism as celebrated by the Greek Orthodox faith.
Sunday I was sitting in a pew with a neighbor enjoying the morning service at Calvary Lutheran Church of Golden Valley. I listened to bible teachings and beautiful music. Afterwards, we took the elevator to the second floor to view the Holy Week Art Show of about 40 exhibitors.
Two offerings stood out for me. First, artist Judy Duelo crafted the needlepoint “Mother’s Tree”, and shared an old four leaf clover found within the pages of a family bible. She was sharing not just her art but also good luck with everyone.
Second was the Special Guest Artist Pastor Paul Oman, whose “Drawn to the Light” was done before an audience who had heard the Advent, Christmas and Epiphany promises of Christ in music and word as he worked. How inspiring, beautiful and FABulous the canvas and it’s story was. By the way, that painting stands about six feet tall and four feet wide!
Afterwards, my friend and I enjoyed a meal at the award-winning Good Day Café. Sundays are “breakfast all day” and very tasty, indeed!
So for someone who has avoided church for so many years, I managed three in one weekend. I appreciated the fellowship, traditions and teachings even after avoiding formal church all these years. And what did I like the most? The smiles and spirit of welcome and caring that I received at each church. Besides my regular informal church, I’m inspired to go to more of the formal ones again in the future.
What do you like most about “church”?
Have a FABulous week!
Divorced and FABulous Tip of the Week:
Do even things you have done and not liked – perhaps you will change your mind!
Quote of the Week:
A good man, is a good man, whether in this church, or out of it.
– Brigham Young