SNAP: Stories for Living

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Today I went to church.  Sometime in 1999 I joined a church community, ten years after leaving my Catholic parish in 1989.  I rarely attended my new church after the Boston Crisis in 2002.  My connection to First United Methodist Church began in 1996.  A friend of mine, who was an adult learner on the violin like me, invited me to come and play in a string ensemble at First United Methodist Church in downtown Jackson, MI.  I played once a month with this group of fun musicians until the group disbanded in 1998.  This was my first experience attending a non-Catholic service and it was strange at first. The community grew on me.  I never tried to figure out why I stopped going to this fine Christian community since January of 2002.  The community and I are a good fit and during these desert years they never ceased being friendly and non-judgmental.  It’s not easy finding your way out of a rigid Catholic upbringing. 

Last week on a Tuesday evening I got a call from a friend who attends my church.  She asked if I would be a greeter on Sunday, November 11, 2007.  I found myself saying yes, because I have been longing for community.  And why was I not attending this fine community I asked myself.  And I answered myself: I was not going because I was still waiting for the Catholic parish I grew up in to come for me because I reached out to them in recent years for help. I faced the fact that they are not coming for me.  Also I have a new spirituality, a new understanding of a Supreme Being that was born through rage and tears at the God of my youth.  The struggle is over; my connection back to spirituality and community is complete.   

So Saturday night, I was free to prepare to attend the 9:00 O’clock service in the morning, and was instructed to arrive fifteen minutes early to greet members in the vestibule of the church.  I was nervous when I left Sunday morning, but I knew that I really needed and wanted a non-dogmatic, Christian community.   After I arrived and hung up my coat, a church member greeted me and said he would go and look for my nametag. I said I did not have a name tag and he left to go and get me one.  He came back and handed me a nametag and said the pastor made the nametag for me.   Quietly I was welcomed with warmth as though I came every week. 

Note: this story is from 2007. View other 2007 stories and 2007 voting results. View current stories.