Both times when I was on Maternity leave, I had the opportunity to visit other area churches. Nearly every time I went to a new to visit a church, I had to gather up my courage and ignore the overwhelming urge to just sit in the Lazy-boy and catch up on the latest season whatever I was binge watching during my maternity leave.
Every time I entered the threshold of a new worship service I experienced anxiety I had never felt before. I had attended church my whole life – but I had always gone with someone. Even in college, I initially went with friends I already had met on campus. The rest of the churches I attended because I was on staff or the pastor. Yes, I’ve been the newcomer, but I’ve never not felt unwelcome, or experienced the same kind of anxiety I felt visiting these other churches. And everyone ALWAYS knew my name.
Suddenly I hadn’t the foggiest idea how to behave. Which door was I supposed to enter in through? Could I leave the baby’s car seat in the aisle? Where could I change the diaper, should I need to? What was expected of me? Was I supposed to stand, sit, kneel – and when? Will people recognize me from the community? If I sat in the back on a side aisle would people notice that I was nursing my baby if I needed to? How was I going to hold the hymnal if I was nursing? If I saw someone I knew could I talk during the singing? Would anyone speak to me? Would I know the songs? The whole experience was very disorientating, even irritating, to feel so wrong-footed, like a foreign tourist.
Easter is a time when we may see folks at church that we haven’t seen in a while. We also may see some brand new faces too! However friendly our church is, there can be a feeling for the outsider that this is an alien culture with so many unwritten expectations that it’s too risky to set foot over the threshold. Church is not even part of the wallpaper of most people’s lives any more, and fewer and fewer people are automatically at home in a church.
We need to be ready to welcome people with open arms – no questions asked. We need to rejoice with them saying, “Alleluia! Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed!”
First Friday come to Silverton United Methodist Church and see the original musical play by musician Christopher Wicks! 7-9pm!
Join us Maundy Thursday at the United Methodist Church and Good Friday at Trinity!
After the Easter Sunrise Service, Join us at the Methodist Church for Easter Breakfast!
From Living Lutheran….
One of the gifts of the Information Age is that news and stories from around the world are immediately accessible to almost anyone. But the challenge is what to do when that information raises concerns, especially about places and people many hold dear.
Concordia Language Villages, a camp established in 1961 by Concordia College, Moorhead, Minn., to provide cultural immersion programs, experienced this challenge last year. A parent found a concerning link to the German language village’s name, Waldsee, which loosely means a forest, lake or idyllic place in the woods. Read More…
Servers for April
Altar Guild – Betty Lam
Assistant Minister – Nancy Ohren
Usher – Norman English