In the 10 years we have been married, Ben and I have tried a few different churches in Hastings a few different times. However, none of them pre-babies really stuck and once we had babies, well, forget it. Nap schedules have ruled our world for the last seven years and just as soon as one kiddo has dropped a morning nap, there has been either a tired mama in need of one or a new sibling taking one instead (or both).
Over the years, friends have been kind enough to invite us to their churches for services and special events and even Vacation Bible School, which HD has done twice now. But again, the weekly routine just never stuck.
So this year, with three out of the four of the kids “in school” (LT and RL have preK open house this week and LT is WAY excited to meet his teacher, however I wouldn’t be surprised if he barely says two words to her, either), and a baby who can squeeze in a morning nap before a 10:30 start time, we decided to give it a whirl and attend the Sunday School Kick-off weekend at the First Presbyterian (you guys, that is way hard to spell) Church here in town. Neither B nor I come from a First Pres background, but we know many wonderful families who attend that church, so we took the plunge and did it – took all six of us to church this morning!
Now, a few words about church, for me. Growing up, and especially in jr. and sr. high school, church was a big deal in my world. As in, youth group leader, church camp camper (and eventual counselor) every summer, Big Deal. But since college, I’ve found myself moving away from regular church going and even being terribly religious at all and more into the realm of spirituality based faith. And I am good with that. I don’t need to be a regular church goer to touch base with my higher power (which is not a knock at people who like to).
That being said, I love the community that can stem from having a church family, and what I desire, both for myself and my family and certainly for my kids, is a church that is loving and kind and accepting and geared toward service to others. Can I know ALL of that in one Sunday morning? Well, no, but I’d say we got off to a pretty good start, and Ben and I were both greatly impressed by the programs that they offer for both kids and adults, and the outreach and services they provide to the community at large. Plus we saw plenty of friendly and familiar faces and even had friends to help us hold a squirmy but content Trumy and reassure us that it was just fine if ALL of our kids were in fact a little squirmy.
Bonus? We sat in the balcony, and as a Balcony person myself from my UCC days in Yankton, I can tell you that it is a little more Anything Goes up there. And thank goodness because our crew was a bit all over the place! But they had a good time at Sunday School and the Bigs even went down for the children’s sermon, and HD loved the music.It’s possible he mostly just liked finding the numbers in the big hymnal, but he totally tried to read/sing along too which is pretty good for a newbie/7yo.
Extra bonus? The final hymn of the morning just happened to be my all-time fave from my Placerville Camp days, “Here I am Lord” and I got to sing it start to finish next to my sweet kiddos (truth? that may have been emotional overload at that point for me), which was one of those cool, circular connection moments between my own childhood and theirs.
Was the morning gone in a blink of the eye? Yes.
Was it exhausting? Um, yes. Why am I always sweating as a mother?!
Did I hear much of the sermon? Not really (and not because I was on my phone – this was the only pic I snuck).
But was it worth it? Well, I think so. Who knows where it goes and grows from here, but it’s fun to be at the start of a not-so-much-but-totally-kind-of new journey.