I’m not going to church today.

jhoyerAfter my little overindulgence last Sunday, I’m taking the day off.

It’s not for a lack of wanting to go, but I’ve got a morning meeting that I don’t really want to miss, and I’m supposed to move to a new apartment in the evening.

So.  That takes care of Sunday church.

There are lots of other days in the week, so I’m sure I’ll hit up a pew sometime soon.

But this gives me an opportunity to spew more about the thoughts in my head since I started my adventure of re-finding my place in church.

It’s so easy, when looking at church websites or when sitting in the sanctuary, to think of all the things I don’t like about that particular church.  For example, I couldn’t stand the terrible sound system at one church I visited.  The smarmy promotional video on another church’s website almost deterred me from visiting (I did go, in the end, and my reasons for not going back – if I choose not to – will have nothing to do with that video).

I was trying to stay positive, to make a list of all the things I liked about the churches I visited.  And Rachel Held Evans’ post earlier this week about the people we disagree with was a great reminder that, while I might find some parts of a church service insincere, someone (perhaps not the person carrying out that action in that moment) instituted it because it was meaningful to them.

Which means: while I disagree vehemently with using food as a centerpiece when the food is destroyed in the process because candlewax drips all over it during act that is supposed to be spiritually symbolic, I need to think about how I could constructively comment on this, and how for 95% of the room this might be meaningful and might provide an illustration that helps them relate to God.

(Sure, whatever.  I’m still working that particular one through.)

Anyway.  My list of things I liked about the churches I visited last week:

  • The super friendly and down-to-earth priest who convinced me to sign a guestbook even though I NEVER DO.
  • Talking over delicious soup with people who are also just down with eating together in the presence of God.
  • That poem that I already posted this week.

So.  In the midst of being annoyed with all the things I don’t like about particular churches, I need to focus on finding the things I do like.

Deal?

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