Mommy and Me

Mommy and Me
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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Breaking prejudice

Patrick and I have been looking for a church we could call home since arriving in Pennsylvania.  After trying two churches and not loving either of them I decided to talk to God a bit more in depth about it.  First I prayed that we would be invited to eat with people from the church we should attend. ..I prayed this during service at the second church and it was crazy after service no one talked to us at all.
Then sometime last week I wrote in my journal (which is a collection of letters I write to God) a list of things I hoped to find in the church God would have us attend. Here is my list.
1. An engaging children's service that teaches each of my children at their level about bible concepts.
2. A worship service that is engaging, uninterrupted and truely draws the presence of the Holy Spirit.
3. A pastor who preaches to the hearts of his people, calling out their sins but helping to guide them toward Christ with teaching relevant and applicable to our lives.
4. A family of believers that will become our family and one so welcoming that making friends will not take long.
5. Activities during the week that will draw us closer in the community of the church, relationships with you, and service to others. 6. A man among this church that will love Patrick as a father.  Someone who can be his mentor and friend. Someone who can also be a grandpa to our children and whose wife can do the same for me.
Each of these things have been added to a growing list of desires for the church we would one day be able to stay at.  Each of them very important to us.  Your list might look different and that isn't bad but this is ours.
Then something amazing happened.  We had two choices of churches to try this week,  one looked very up beat and new but the Web site said very little about their beliefs which worried me,  the other looked about like the last two we went to, and they both had not met our needs.  We decided to go with the one whose beliefs were posted clearly on the Web site.  Sandyhills community church is the name of it.  I'm not one to post a bad review about a church so the fact that I'm naming the church should mean a great deal.  I loved it.  As we were walking up to the doors there were two causally dressed greeters, both dressed in pants,  one male, one female, they were having a friendly competition to see who could get more people through each door.
Inside we were greeted again, this time by the pastors wife she is a grandmotherly woman with a lovely smile and so helpful! She pointed out where we needed to go to get the children situated in their classes, and answered my questions about the service.  The pastor came directly to us and introduced himself and took special care to introduce himself to our children saying they were "very important people" which I found very sweet.
Once service started we enjoyed singing songs we knew well and could really come into the presence of God.  The worship was uninterrupted, which you may have noticed was important to us.  The message was good.  It was relevant,  and I learned something I didn't know before (In case your interested he taught on Luke ch. 7 and spoke about John the Baptist).
I met a woman pregnant for her 6th child, all of those children were present for the whole service and sat right behind us and we're quiet as mice too.  After service I was invited to the park on Wednesday by this woman and she stayed to talk to us after most everyone else was gone.
Another grandmotherly woman who had sat in front of me invited us to her home that evening.  Which was such a blessing.  Her husband and his cousins were playing Bluegrass music together for fun. I sang "I'll fly away" with them.  We ate pizza, we even let Sapphira have pizza with cheese on it that night.  They took us in like family.  I have not felt so welcomed by strangers in such a long time.  They even invited us to a family reunion they are having... which is funny but I totally want to go!
The funniest thing about all of it is that our preconceived ideas would have kept us from attending at all if we had known what denomination they were before walking into the church.  I knew from the Web site that they believed the same as we did, but hadn't seen anything with a denomination on it.  But when I asked, I learned,  they are menonite (I hope I'm spelling that correctly)
In our minds the menonites were one step away from Amish, girls in dresses with coverings on their heads. .. Not bad just different,  but this church wasn't that way at all.  Girls and guys alike wore what they wanted, some dressed up a little, some a lot, some it seemed not at all... And I only saw one woman with anything on her head.  We are changing our minds about our preconceived notions.  And we are going back next week.

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