About a month ago, I was searching for local churches. With the cost of gas, driving back and forth to our old church isn’t really feasible. While I adore the pastor there, I still don’t feel like I did when I attended the church I grew up. Mind you, I’ve been attending this particular church on and off for 11 years. I started attending when my daughter was only five months’ old.
The problem I was encountering, was I wanted to stay within the United Methodist community, yet I had been to all the surrounding churches, heck even joined one, and they just aren’t for me. What was I to do. I feel a calling to go back to church regularly.
Facebook, with its, “suggestions”, based off my Google search, showed me nearby churches. There was one, very close to my home, awesome reviews. It promised to have coffee (don’t judge me on my caffeine neediness), fellowship and to feel welcome.
Sounds like a lot of churches, but I thought, heck, it’s just me. I can walk into church, grab some coffee, and listen for a bit, right?
Well, I did just that. However, I was greeted by several people. Lord help me and my horrible ability to remember names. I’m just awful about that. Yet, they showed me to the coffee, SCORE, introduced several people to me, and were genuine.
It sounds silly, but that’s what I needed. Not just pleasantries, but a sincere welcoming, caring about you being there.
My other concern was a traditional service. This was a non-denominational church and I’ve had some experiences with them and had been less than impressed. I’ve spent over 40 years singing hymns in church. Contemporary elements were for special services, normally by the children. Yet, the music they play is what my daughter is being exposed to at her private, Christian school. Another comfort level met. I know some of these songs. I hear some on the radio too!
Just to interject, I’m becoming a huge fan contemporary Christian music. I can say, Chris Tomlin, is my favorite singers. His songs speak to me. My current “addiction” song that he sings is, “Amazing Grace: My Chains Are Gone“. It combines one of my favorite hymns and a contemporary twist.
Last Sunday, my daughter joined me for service. She actually joined the kids’ group during the service; virtually unheard of. You’d think she was a fly and I the paper. She had a wonderful time. I stayed with the adults, of course, and heard the Message (aka, Sermon). It’s relayed in such a way that it follows scripture but can be applied to modern times.
I now look forward to attending service every Sunday. I am making local friends and I feel like a truly belong. It’s almost silly. At my old church, I typically the only one with visible tattoos. I felt I needed to keep them covered as much as possible. My new church, there are several people with arm tattoos and it’s just another level of welcome; in my eyes.
I am blessed to have found Harvest Community Church at this time in my life. I believe it’s where I am meant to be.