Some days church is just totally worth going to. Today was one of those days.
There are a lot of things I love about the church we've been going to. I was reminded of another one today - whole wheat holy bread for the communion (they call it holy supper). The woman who makes it says "I'm sorry, but the children of Israel were not eating refined white flour." Yay.
The pastor of the church, David, is someone I just love. He's got a really great sense of humor, and that means everything to me. He's also great at telling self-deprecating stories of his own shortcomings. Also, he loves rock music, especially The Beatles. The church is different from anything I ever went to in the past. Nobody wears a robe, or a hat, or a costume of any kind. There is frequently laughter during the service. The music is uplifting. I listen to some of it when I'm not at church!
I still get uncomfortable with some things. Parts of the Bible that I just cannot begin to understand, or I find suffocating. They are into Emmanuel Swedenborg. Even some of those writings I have some trouble with. I usually let most of that go because it's some of the least important part of it for me. What I do like is the community, the connections, and the general support. It is a very honest community - people have real problems, and can actually talk about them. There is not pressure to be perfect, or pretend that things are perfect. The church has a different take on a lot of the Bible stories I learned growing up. They make sense out of things that never made sense to me. Not everything, but a lot of things. Swedenborg certainly has a slightly different spin than much of what I've heard in the past. It is refreshing.
The best thing is, it is one of the most non-judgemental places I've been. Which is amazing for a church, based on my past experiences with them.
What I get from it is a few things - one is, a chance to play music. I'm in the band (keyboards), and a lot of the time it is really fun. Some weeks are better than others. On a good week, when I'm playing well, it is a joy. It also gives me a few hours that I can relax, listen to someone else's ideas, and take some time to pray. Prayer is important to me. I don't pretend to know what it is or how it works but I do know that it is comforting to me and it reduces my general anxiety. I like having some time during the week to give it all up, if you will.
Today I walked out with a few ideas I wanted to consider. They aren't new ideas, but they were what was resonating with me when I left.
-People, adults and kids, like to feel useful. It's a good thing to help find ways to allow people to be useful. When I got home, I asked the various kids around my house to help me with the kitchen, making lunch, etc. I don't do that too often. I really need to do that more.
-Focus on one 'improvement' at a time. I tend to want to fix everything about myself every single day. Dave says, nah - pick one thing for the week and see how that goes.