Ok, friends. Today I have no problem, whatsoever, saying that I was dissapointed by our church visit.
This morning, as I was getting ready, I had extremely high hopes. Maybe that's where the problem started. The website didn't excite me, actually, the website was terrible, but at least they have a website. But, the church was absolutely beautiful. I had driven by a couple of weeks ago. It is a beautiful old downtown building. So, I had high expectations since I come from a beautiful old downtown church. I thought "this could be the one!!" "we may not have to search after this!" Hahahahahahaha.
Where do I start?? I don't know. This will be all over the place, my writing style is so unorganized, I know, but I just want to get it all out there to ya without worrying about it. I'm sorry.
I guess I'll start at the beginning! We found our way into the building-success! We found the sanctuary-double success! We stood there at the entrance to the sanctuary looking for someone to tell us where the childcare was. Hmmm...other people were going in. We waited. Then, I young man with a nametage walked by. This was our guy! I said, "Hi. Can you tell us where the childcare is? This is our first Sunday here." He said yes and led us to the room. (He did not ask our names, where we're from, what brought us to the church, how old our kids are, etc.-for Pete's sake!) So, we went to a room where a boy was playing by himself. Greeter had to go find boy's mom who was doing something else. Crap. We checked in the kids and they gave us a buzzer. This made me feel better. Lilly did not cry, this made me feel even better.
Chris and I went in the sanctuary. I felt invisible. But how could I be? We had to be the youngest couple there and the place was not packed. We had to be very very obvious, but no one seemed to care. The sanctuary was beautiful. Stained glass all around, intricate woodwork, etc. The congregation was old.
We sat down behind 3 middle school girls, that seemed like a good spot for us. Along came a woman who looked about our age to sit with the girls. The youth pastor, a mother? I was excited to meet her!! Unfortunately, all I got was a handshake and a glance during greeting time (which was very uncomfortable. I hate greeting time.)
I checked out the bulletin. It was Pentecost (of course), as well as graduate and acolyte recognition. 8 high school graduates and a forever long list of acolytes. That was good, I thought.
As for the service, I don't know what to say except boooooooooooring. I shouldn't be harsh or cruel or judgemental, but I really wanna be. I really want to go talk to the pastor and tell him how frustrated the service made me. At one point in the sermon he mentioned the fact that the UMC's are closing. I should have stood up and said "You know why UMC's are closing? Because of services like this!" I know, that's a terrible thing to think and to even mention in my blog, but it feels so true.
Chris was sleeping. It was Pentecost, for Pete's sake! Who falls asleep in a Pentecost service?! How did I find the scripture reading boring when it was about tongues of fire?! Ok, that's enough of that.
We greeted the pastor after worship. "Thank you for joining us this morning." That's it from him.
So, we went looking for our kids. They had been given popsicles. My thought: Did I fill out an allergy form? Thankfully, my children do not have food allergies, but David is sensitive to red dye #40. It's not severe, but I thought of the mom who might be taking her child on a long car ride after church or something like that who's child was even the teensiest amount more sensitive to #40 than David. I would be ticked if I was her!! I assume that parents who have children with severe food allergies always notify care takers of the dangers, but still. These people did not know us at all. They had my kids for about 1 hour. Note to churches out there: keep a list of food allergies of the kids who are in your care.
So, that's about it.
A couple of notes about the experience from Chris:
-the announcements prior to the service given by the pastor made him resemble Ned Flanders (from The Simpsons). I think Ned Flanders has way more charisma.
-the (assumed) retired pastor reading the scriptures reminded Chris of Mr. Burns (The Simpsons). I think Mr. Burns is much more interesting.
-Chris was terrified that I was going to love the service and we would end up in a dissagreement.
I should say that I'm sure that the pastor's intentions are good, as are the intentions of everyone in the church. I hope. It was just so dissapointing, as a young United Methodist, to have this experience.
The previous church we visited was hopping with excitement and young families. But, I don't agree with the teachings. This church had good teachings but was a big yawn fest. I'm not looking to be entertained. I'm looking for an enriching environment for my family where we can grow closer to Jesus. We need friends. Where are they?
I told Chris that we should start our own church. He said no. I guess that's no way to make friends.