Sunday I told Audrey we were going to a different place for church that morning.

“Dere’s cookies dere too?” was her response. So she knows what matters.

There were cookies. And it was technically still our regular church: just a new, small, informal, off-site place where you can sit at tables with your coffee during the 45-minute service. Which is right up my alley. This month.

Last month, and for a while, I was feeling our big, formal, put-on-a-great-production-of-a-service church didn’t even have enough ritual or tradition to suit me. I thought it was weird that I looked forward to Ash Wednesday of all times of the year, because there was ritual and liturgy and ancient stuff. I started threatening to defect to Catholicism. Not even trying to be cute here. I know that when I feel a total disconnect from all that is greater than me that physical worship can bring me back. Your brain can’t stay in the same place when your body is kneeling, making the sign of the cross, saying the rosary, things like that. All of a sudden you don’t have to make this cerebral strain like you’re trying to spiritually poop yourself to a higher place. You just get taken away. Or I do. It works for me.

So how did I end up in the opposite sort of place this weekend? I think it was because I read a wonderful book by a nun who did a great job of describing the revolutionary, often female-driven house meetings of the early Jesus Movement. I started to romanticize that and felt like right now I’d love a gathering where I could act and dress casually (and therefore feel like me) and is small enough for me to feel known. Also, after this service you can hang and have a conversation with the pastor about the sermon topic. It has that Bible study class-like feel that Andy and I often like more than actual worship. Andy, listening to me ramble about this stuff just points out the obvious: we can alternate what service we feel like going to.

One other nice thing: this was the first time in ages that Audrey stayed with me for a service. She’s used to her church nursery full of kids with toys and felt-board bible stories and coloring. Sharing a service with her was rather sweet. She danced to the music and clapped afterward (unlike the rest of us still-too-repressed-it’s-for-the-glory-of-God-alone Protestants) and managed to not go too crazy until halfway through the sermon.

Then at the end she said, “We go odder church now?”


posted under Audrey, God, husband

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