Friday, June 17, 2011

An Addendum

I've always wanted to use the word Addendum in a blog post, and now I can......

I'm so glad there were so many that enjoyed my last post.  It's very fulfilling to get so much feedback when you write something so potentially controversial.  People hold their churches near and dear to their hearts, and the last thing I want to do is make someone feel like I am being critical of something they love!  I love the comments, and even if you don't agree with me about the Traditional Services, hopefully you could see my tongue firmly planted in my cheek.  Sometimes my humor doesn't translate through the screen as plainly as I'm putting it down.

An important part that I should have included in my musings on Traturgical Services is that I don't think that they are for everyone.  And that is totally fine.  I'm not offended when people don't like the Traditional Service and seek out another way to worship.  I have heard people refer to Traditional worship as feeling stagnated, dated, and behind-the-times.   I don't take it personally.  I didn't write or develop the Traditional Service format, and the only personal investment I have in it is that I have spent close to thirty years of my life in Traditional Services.  I personally value the liturgy, the familiarity, and the ceremony.  When I am there, I feel God.  And to me, that is all that matters.

There are so many different types of people- so many different ways to get what you need from the God-and-you relationship.  If you haven't found a church or a service where you feel comfortable and feel God, keep looking!  It's all the same God (in my opinion).  Heck, why not church-hop for a month or two just to visit new places?  I would enjoy doing that just for the educational value.  Many churches offer multiple worship formats because they have realized that they need to offer ways to worship that are just as diverse as the membership of the church.  Let your church be like a buffet- take what you need and want from what they offer, and leave the rest for someone else.  Not everyone likes the jello salad at the K&W Cafeteria, but there it is, week after week!

What if you feel God best when you are not at church?  As a Lutheran, I believe that I am saved "By grace, through faith".....NOT "By grace, through church attendance".  Some people feel God best hiking on the top of a mountain, or with their toes in the sand, staring at the ocean.  They see Him in the everyday interactions with their children, or ruminating during a long car ride.  Do you have to be under the formal roof on a Sunday morning?  I don't actually believe that you do.  Your relationship with God is personal, and does not need to be justified to anyone.

However, there are things that you gain from attending any kind of church service, that you won't necessarily get otherwise.  The biggest is a sense of community.  A church truly is a group of people, not just a building or service you go to.  Without the people, the church itself is meaningless.  Conversely, if you attend church and choose not to interact with people- if you always skip out of the coffee hour or never attend the Lenten dinners- well, you are probably not feeling the community warm fuzzies.  Talk to people, volunteer, remember names, and donate cans of food.  Offer to hold a baby so a mother can enjoy the service, or tuck a little treat in your pocket to give to a fussy kid in the pew in front of you.  Build relationships, because this builds God's community.

I'm going to get off of this religious kick that I'm on, because I know what most people really come here for- pictures of the kids!!  It is nice to be able to write about what's on my mind, and I encourage any of you who need a place to download (or is it upload?) your thoughts, to consider starting a blog.  I hope you enjoyed these posts, and if anything they made you think.  Peace, my friends!

1 comment:

Angela said...

Makes me love and miss you more!! Hugs a bunches and I cannot wait to point Steve towards this set of posts - he's going to say "Amen, Sista" a lot!! LOL!