Yesterday, Justin and I went to a United First Methodist church! It was our second visit, the first being just before my surgery when I was in pretty bad constant pain, so it wasn’t a “fair” visit. Benjamin has actually been several times since that is the church that my in-laws attend.
The first visit we really enjoyed – it was a mix between a more traditional church with more of a modern message. Moderately traditional music. What I really liked about it was how service-centered it was. There was a lot of discussion on the help the youth had been doing, the new ways the members could serve, etc. I didn’t really like how I had to sign up in like 4 different spots. I had to sign in at the front desk as a new visitor, I had to get a name tag, I had to sign in on the new visitor form and then I had to sign in AGAIN on a sign in sheet that got passed around during the beginning of service. It was major overkill.
A few people noticed we were brand new and introduced themselves. I only saw a few people close to my age – they looked in their early 30s (which, crazy enough, is close to my age).
I really like that they have Sunday School. I like it a lot. I miss Sunday School. But, they really didn’t have a lot of opportunities for fellowship outside of Sunday that I would be able to attend, and Justin would never be able to attend the men’s group since it’s on Monday nights.
Ultimately, we kind of liked it but that was it – just “kind of.” There was nothing that screamed out to us, “attend church here!” And yesterday, the guest preacher said a bad word! I mean, the guy was older – about 80 – and it was amusing to hear language like that coming out of a man who obviously was not the type to say it… but I don’t know how I felt about hearing it in church.
It was the S word – straight from the pulpit in the middle of his sermon. I think I didn’t like it because he didn’t know the crowd he was preaching to – he certainly had never met me or my husband and had no idea what kind of standards we have (I don’t think saying the “S” word in and of itself is a sin, but that’s a different topic). And I think that it’s possible he would have created a major problem if someone like some of my other friends had been in the congregation, friends who DO have issue with some of those words. I kind of view cursing from the pulpit the same way I view cursing in front of people you don’t know: if you don’t know how everyone is going to feel about it, don’t bother.
Anyways. The cursing didn’t have anything to do with our decision to keep looking for a home church – it was just weird. The main reason was Benjamin’s lack of peer group. One time he’s been there were 2 children, but every other time he has been the only baby/toddler…and he doesn’t do very well away from all of the people he knows when there’s no one fun his size to distract him. And by “doesn’t do very well” I mean that he cries until he exhausts himself and then is grumpy/clingy the rest of the day. The one time he had 2 kids with him he did much better.
I’d like to find a church that has a good mix of people, some in similar in age to us, with kids near Benjamin’s age, so we can all grow together. I’d also like to find a church with more modern worship. I love traditional hymns, don’t get me wrong, but I worship better to more modern music because that’s what I’ve grown up on.
We’ll keep looking and hopefully find something soon.