Monday, February 11, 2008

And on the eighth day He put the car in gear...

So, as I've mentioned, we've been looking for a church to call home. This has been an ongoing discussion ever since we got married, but BJ and I haven't put a lot of energy into it, for a variety of reasons, until now. I'm really proud of us that we've made it to church 2 weeks in a row (BJ has made it 3 weeks, but Claire was sick that first morning...)

He has been to the traditional service at St. Andrew UMC, and we've both been to the contemporary service. We went to the early service this week at Covenant Presbyterian, which was kind of a fusion service, they did rock and roll and hymns on the organ. Something for everyone.

I was raised Methodist, and believe the same things the M's believe, for the most part. I have some major doctrinal differences with the P's, actually, but they're not such that they would interfere with my feeling comfortable in a P church. Mainly, the thing I like about Methodists is that the doors are open to everyone, while the P's have some issues with homosexuals, etc. that I disagree with. But, since I'm not homosexual, I could put that aside if the rest of the church atmosphere is agreeable.

So, doctrinally, I like the Methodist church. It's a little smaller (but not small), and the people were very welcoming. There were only 3 other kids in MG's age group, and there's no preschool program that I know of. We know one other family who goes there. They have a brand new church which is fairly close to our house.

On the other hand, Covenant is so close to our house that we could easily walk in nice weather. It's bigger, and the people were nice, but it would be a lot easier to get lost in the crowd, there (which isn't necessarily a bad thing). They have a preschool program, which is something I'm very interested in getting MG into this fall, and I think the continuity of going to church and school at the same place would be good for her. There are a bunch of kids her age - dozens, actually, although they weren't all there Sunday, of course. The church is older and rather labyrinthine, but it feels like a church, which is important to me. It seems that both of their services are mixed contemporary and traditional, so we'd have to put up with the rock and roll, but at least that means we could sleep in without penalty. They also have pagers for the parents, so if your kid freaks out they can call you out of the service to come and fix her. I like that. We know two other families who go to Covenant, including our doctor, which would be kind of cool.

BJ wants me to see the traditional service at St. Andrew before we decide. I'm kind of leaning toward Covenant, though, mainly because of the other kids and the preschool program. The main reason to go to church is because we think it's good for the kids, and I think they'll get more out of it if there are lots of children there to be friends with.

Any thoughts?


Rob Monroe said...

I'm a PC(USA) kind of guy. The homosexuality "issue" is one that is very frustrating to a lot of us that think we should stop fighting about sex and put more energy into fighting poverty. Argh, another comment for another day.

Advantage of a small church is that it really is like a family. I'm not sure what your defination of small or large is, though. We tried a church that had about 100 members. It was way too small for us. We ended up at a church with 300 members, which is not huge, but not "small" either.

We found that there are enough families like ours that there is not a place to get lost, unless you want to. We began a parenting group and have groups/activities to get folks involved in as little or as much as they would like.

The big thing to consider, in my opinion, is whether or not you feel welcomed, and whether or not your children do. A lot of people say "great sermons" are a reason to join a church, but I always remind them that the people in the pews are around a lot longer than the person in the pulpit.

Go with a combination of your feelings, thoughts and just plain gut feeling. If you and your spouse disagree, go with the one that the children choose. (Might get them more excited to get up and go somewhere on a regular basis, too!)

Hope your search takes you someplace that you feel at home.

Jen said...

Sounds like you've already decided...

Mommy on the move said...

I know that you don't know me from Adam, but I found your blog while searching for tips on flying with kids. We will be moving in a few months and my husband is going a couple of weeks before me, which means I will be flying with my four children.....alone. When I saw your "church" tag I was curious. I guess my question is, do you not believe there is one true church. A church where, you know it is the one God has set up on the earth to be His church and that even if there are doctrines you don't "agree" with, maybe that is something you have to overcome and be teachable in that? And if you truely believe that doctrine is wrong, why would you go to that church?

I just can't image liking this church because it looks like a church, but liking this other one because you get paged during the service because your kids need you. I'm not trying to be rude, I'm truely curious.