Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Church

I am lost.

I grew up Roman Catholic and attended church every Sunday until my husband and I moved to our current city almost ten years ago. I like mass. Of all of the changes throughout my life (divorce, switching schools a lot, moving, etc), going to church was a constant. Mass doesn't change. I can say the prayers in my sleep. I love that about Catholicism.

I joined the Catholic church by our house and hate it. I have received numerous death stares whenever my kids act up and have seen few friendly faces. No one has made an effort to greet an unfamiliar face and even the people in our baptism class were unfriendly. I've gone several times in the hope that it gets better and it doesn't. I've also noticed from reading all of the online bulletins that this Catholic church is very focused on money. They are putting on a huge harvest party, but it costs $10/person, plus food the cost of food, and game tickets for the kids. I am all for supporting the church and charities, but it's like this with everything that church puts on and seems over the top. Also? I'm poor so spending $65+ to go to a church harvest party is ridiculous. That might seem petty, but when all of the church's events cost money, it rules out my growing family.

We live across the street from a Methodist church. It is the complete opposite from the Catholic church. The people are welcoming and friendly. I received sympathetic and kind smiles when the kids started getting bored. They have free Sunday school for the kids and put on several church activities at no cost. We went trick or treating at the Methodist church last year and it was great. Everyone was happy and wanted to be there and the teenagers had fun with the kids. It was free and my kids loved it. The downside? I am uncomfortable during the service. There's no order to the service, the songs aren't familiar, and there's not nearly enough standing, sitting, and kneeling.

I want my kids to receive their first communion. I want to have all of them baptized (Maeve is the only one so far). I want them to know the peace I've found in attending mass. Church meant a lot to me as a teenager and I want my kids to have something similar when they are older.

So what do I do? The big city closest to us has quite a few Catholic churches. We've tried a few of them and didn't fit in. Do I keep trying them on until one fits? Do I start attending the Methodist church since it's so family friendly and in my community? How much does religion matter when we are all serving the same god? I've been wrestling with this for awhile and have no answers. I would like church in my life again, but am stuck.



4 comments:

Abby said...

We are stuck, too. Praying. God will open a door somewhere.

Julia McGuire said...

well that sucks. i know a few families at sts john and paul and haven't heard the same. and my kids had to be awful during noon masses at the cathedral (or basilica) on weekdays, but that's how we practiced -- with short masses -- to acquire the habit. have you look at all saints in saylor township?

drea :: dre of white stables said...

i understand the comfort you have found in routine and familiarity with the catholic church, but i do think it's ridiculous for them to be $$ driven and unfriendly.
it's always uncomfortable when switching churches...the church we've been at for a year and a half now was the same way, even though now i love it more than any other we've been to. there's a community i've never had before and it meets all my hopes of what i wanted in a church. it was uncomfortable to leave the church i had been at for 5+ years, but now i wouldn't ever go back.
i say all of that to encourage you that it might be worth the change...what good is it doing for you to be in a church "just to go" if you aren't being included as part of the community, being fed, loved on, learning to love on others? I am not in any way trying to undermine your feelings, but don't go somewhere you hate just because it's comfortable--you'll never grow...and the kids can still take communion, get baptized, all of that at the other church.
i hope you find some peace in your decision making. i would honestly encourage you to pray about the direction God wants you to go. He is faithful to direct you if you commit your plans to Him.

drea :: dre of white stables said...

**I meant being fed in a spiritual way, not a physical way, just for clarification. ha

I also wanted to add that although there is only one God, all churches aren't equal as far as being doctrinally sound. Just make sure to test whatever you hear against the Bible and I would encourage you to read online about Belief Statements and things before visiting a church to make sure you're comfortable with their beliefs.