Sunday, March 13, 2016

Choosing a Church

Some people find us Christians a puzzling group; here are a few words explaining a little about all the goodness I find in my faith. Feel free to skip if this post is too annoying, ha ha.
I visited 5 or 6 churches before choosing the one I attend now. I love this church. It is alive with love, serving people, and following Jesus.
A perhaps surprising thing about our church is that the services are held in what looks like a huge auditorium. Folding chairs. Very high ceiling. No windows.

Plenty of room for 500 of us at a time. These are not photos of our church, I found the photos on Pixabay and they have the theme of simplicity. I am an art history major and still thrill to visit ornate cathedrals and churches with beautiful traditional architecture but this auditorium style church is the one for me now.
There are several other buildings on our church campus, with a library, children's and teen rooms, and a coffee shop open during the church hours where you can get coffee for $1 and the money goes to charity. In the lobby before going in to church is free coffee and doughnuts, a small bookstore and tables where you can learn about volunteer opportunities.
This church is lively and the music loud and full of praise.
The people who attend do so much to help people that I could in no way list ALL the things. Many are done quietly. It gives us all lots of joy to help people as Jesus wants.
I attend Women's Bible Study before the second church service each Sunday. These ladies are dynamos of doing good things, some of them sew in a program making clothes for boys which is sent to Malawi and other countries worldwide. This group began when they saw a need for a companion program to the existing one that sews dresses for girls. There are large groups and small in our church and something helpful for everyone. We have a big Celebrate Recovery program for those in recovery from drugs, alcohol, over eating, depression, mental illness, etc. I am inspired by all the helping done by our church and I just started volunteering to visit two ladies in an assisted living home.
A great group of people. I hope you have people like these in your life.
If by any chance you don't, check out some churches near your home; you might find a safe warm place there.


FlowerLady Lorraine said...

So happy you have found a church for you. I've found one too and am so happy to be a part of it.

Have a lovely spring ~ FlowerLady

Pamela M. Steiner said...

Sounds like you have found a wonderful group of believers to worship with. Churches come in all sizes and shapes. We have a small group that meets in our house each Sunday morning. This works for us due to the area where we live being far from the city, and the fact that we have the care of my 92 yr. old mother in law each weekend. She has some dementia, making it difficult to go too many places or have too much "confusion", so this is a blessing for us.

Sweet Tea said...

You have a gem of a church. So happy for you.
My favorite part of church service is praise & worship.
When I praise it seems that I'm filled to over-flowing with God's presence.
God does truly inhabit the praise of his people.

Wanda said...

Excellent post Terra. When we moved to the Villa we had to find a new church. We visited several too, and with my dearest being a retired preacher might make it a little harder for us. HaHa.. We belive church is like marriage, and you won't find a perfect one, but you have to find the one you are willing to love, serve and pray for. We found that in Christ Community Church near us. The pastor has been there 21 years, a lover of God's Word and preaches with truth and passion. We love the worship music and the friendships we made. I attend a Tues. Morning Ladies Bible Study, and have made some wonderful friendships and love sharing the Word of God with them.
Yes, church is important, and find the right one, priceless.

Simply Linda said...

We have 2 Baptist churches here in this small town and neither were what we expected, sad to say. We are just so use to the "southern" way---then we tried the one and only Catholic church, hubby was not happy with has been a uphill battle since we moved here 3 yrs ago. Since he is a chaplain, we have been having church here in our home. I miss the women's group in our old church...anyways, thank you for posting this.

Have a beautiful upcoming week. Blessings

Betsy said...

I'm so happy you have a church to live in and serve in. We have been in ours for 23 years. My husband is an elder and there are lots of community outreach projects. Lots of people do "their own thing" in serving too. I knit and crochet LOTS for area hospitals, nursing homes and a children's shelter. We provide dinner once a month for a local teen shelter. Lots of other things happening too. When you look at it as seeing Jesus it makes it easy to do. :-).

Happyone said...

I know exactly what you mean. I have found such a church too, though not as big as yours. We have about 150 members. My husband and I both went to a few churches when we moved here more than two years ago that were just not for us. Then we walked into our present church and both of us knew it was the one God sent us too. We haven't looked back since. What a blessing it is to be a member of a good God, Bible believing church.
We serve an awesome God!! : )

Mari said...

I'm glad you've found the right church for you. It sounds similar to ours. We don't have our own building yet, but meet in the school auditorium.

Carol Z said...

Enjoyed your post. I've only belonged to two synagogues in my life -- the one we joined in 1957 in Connecticut and then the one I joined in New York in 1991. I thought I would visit a few before joining this last time, but I went to my first service and just kept going. I was moved by the spiritual feeling and by the beautiful music. I go to a study group -- same group for the last almost 20 years -- and have been part of many classes and committees. I like what Wanda said. Our congregation isn't perfect, but I am grateful for this congregation, its clergy and the people I worship with.

Margaret-whiteangel said...

Rather different from what we do here on this Island, and no doubt in other areas of Australia.
I have heard of people going Church Shopping/Hopping to find the correct religion, values for them.
I was Baptised when a few months old as were my children and their children - so we all are of the one religion and don't need to go Church Shopping as I call it - don't take offense either :) We are all Christians.

Denise said...

such a nice post.

Linda Kay said...

Great job, and so important to find a church that "fits". I have found that choosing the church for the minister is never a good thing, as they pick up and leave occasionally. It's all about the people and the programs they support....and how much they are involved in doing for others.

L aura's Reading said...

Thank you for sharing. We are also looking for a new "home." And for personalities we can relate to. Growing up we just continued where parents and uncle/aunt, cousins all belonged. We were blessed that as one pastor retired, we had a family member ready to fill the role.

As an adult and in a different city, many of us are not familiar with the choices offered.
Sometimes it can be intimidating to visit churches without a connection already in place.

Susie - Recovering Church Lady said...

Thanks for the kind comment on my blog today Terra! I enjoyed this post and it brought back great church memories for me. After 30 years in fulltime ministry in CA we moved to Texas and have not found a church to attend due to husband getting a "normal" job on sundays and just....hard to start over somewhere you know?

Red Rose Alley said...

Oh Terra, how nice that you get to see the Doves in your yard all the time. How delightful that they are residents there. They are such a special bird, and I've noticed that they don't fly away too quickly like the others. Yes, they seem unafraid and I feel peaceful when I see them. I've never saw them interact with the other birds. That must be so interesting to watch. :)

I was wondering what church this is? The red door and the stone walls are charming. There are two Catholic churches in our town, and one is like home to me because it's where I grew up.

Have a lovely week, Terra.

love, ~Sheri

Tete said...

I am happy you found your spot! I know church hunting can be hard to do to find just the right fit. I spent a long time and lots of prayer finding my spot. ;0)
I asked Him to put me where he wanted me. Not where it was easy to coast by week after week...too easy to get into that rut and not be productive.
He placed me in a spot I would have never thought of. Its not in a building and I have no pastor. I have my "group" of fellow believers and they are from all of the churches in the area. I don't go looking for those who need me- He sends them and there has been a steady stream. You just never know who you are going to touch and sometimes, its just for a moment or a day or a week, but then when they move on, there's another waiting.
I am well in this spot and blessed...may your new spot bless you over and over.
Hope your week is going great and that you are enjoying the spring that is popping up all around us!


The church that I belong to has the Recovery program also. We have a dinner on Wednesday evenings. It's a church of 400+ and growing. I attend a ladies only small group. I help with the twice a year Tea events. I'm blessed to be there.
Thanks for the visit. I have no idea how much that old pioneer wagon went for. It's in tough shape, but so COOL!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I believe you learn a lot about a church's values by reading its weekly bulletin. How much focus on others (outreach) vs. serving the flock (insulated) really can predict how much a church will grow or stagnate. Sounds like yours is a good one. I was like you, I shopped around before I found a good fit.