Feeling strength from attending church
This past weekend we made ourselves go to church even though we'd been running all weekend without a break. We'd had two soccer games Saturday morning, a marching band competition Saturday afternoon/evening, my mother-in-law came and spent the night after the marching band competition and we had a Boy Scout awards picnic scheduled for Sunday afternoon. It would have been nice to sleep in. But we went anyway.
And even though we were tired, I don't think any of us minded going. This week the service was entitled Reason and Reverence. It was much more Humanist than last week's discussion about the bible. But it was presented as a bridge between the two. It is obvious that our minister is trying to bridge the gap between the Humanists and the Spiritualists in our congregation. Frankly, there were parts of the service where I realized I was zoning out and hadn't heard what had been said. All the scientific talk and worship of knowledge just kind of runs dry with me. But I sat there alongside Big J who enjoyed it much more than me. I figured, last week was my week, this week is his week.
But after the service I was able to talk to so many friends. That made it all worthwhile to me. There have been times when I'd go to coffee hour and not find one single soul to talk to. That's a terribly lonely feeling to be in a room full of people and have no one talk to you. But the last couple of weeks I have run into several different friends and we connected about the service or our kids in RE or outside concerns. That is a wonderful feeling.
Another wonderful thing about church lately is what I'm seeing in my kids. Little J still won't attend so we leave him at home. He's old enough to make up his own mind and I refuse to force him. But the younger two we always take. They may grumble a little, but we take them. Well, lately they are grumbling much less. Both boys already knew some of the kids in their classes, but they are building friendships.
E is in 5th grade and in our church the 5th/6th grade class is sort of a transition between the younger kids' RE and the junior/senior high youth groups. They are given more independence, they are treated more like young adults, and they are given their first social justice projects to work on. As a result, their behavior improves so much. It is like they feel like they are being taken seriously. So E has been hanging out with 5-6 boys in his class and they run around in a pack. It is so cool to see since E is normally a shy child.
Meanwhile, until this week I hadn't been able to get D to attend his K class without me. I'd walk him out into the social hall after the Children's Focus for him to meet his teachers and walk to his classroom. But he'd cling to me. And once we got to the classroom he'd insist I stay. It was often 15-20 minutes before I managed to sneak out and head back to the adult service. BUT! This week as he met his class and they started to walk over, he waved and started walking on his own! I couldn't believe it! Then after the service when I went to pick him up, they were all sitting at the little tables having snack and he was sitting there telling jokes to the other kids sitting around him. And he was having so much fun with the other kids that I had trouble getting him to leave!
We are off to such a good start this year and I am so relieved and excited about it.