Time with God in Community...
When my husband and I were first married we did not attend church regularly. In fact, I do not remember attending church at all for the first few years of our marriage. My husband never attended church as a child, so going to church was not on his to-do list. For me, I was just too caught up in the life of a newly married woman to spend time at church.
When our son Alex was born, the need to attend church returned. After all, he needed to be baptized, and, someone needed to teach him the stories, songs and prayers that I had learned as a child. In my mind, Church is where all of this happened. It was time for me to put active faith back into my life and to help make faith a part of the life of my husband and son.
So we started “church shopping”, visiting churches until we could find one that both my husband, and I, felt comfortable with. Having no history with church, my husband wanted a church that was not too over the top. Basically, he laid down the following groundwork, no speaking in tongues and no dancing in the aisles. I think that snakes were probably not acceptable either. After a few years, and many adventures, we ended up at First Pres Wheaton.
Actively belonging to a Church, in all of its different aspects, is a multi-faceted and sometimes complicated reality for many Christians, including myself. Right now, the importance of belonging to a community of Christians, and together, growing in faith is vital to me. I see my son’s youth group leaders and past Sunday school teachers as important role models in his life. I see how being connected to a church has directed my husband’s faith journey. When I take the time to really look closely, I can see and experience the connective tissue God’s wisdom, Christ’s love and the essence of the Spirit, that abounds when we are positively connected within a Christian community. It is this wisdom, love and spirit that I so want to share with everyone that I come in contact with and more importantly that I want my family to experience.
Our church is having a lot of different events coming together right now. I see each of these events as a sign that we are a vital group. Not every event is right for every person. I feel it is important to have a lot of different events to ensure that each individual can find their place within the group. Some have shared a feeling of being overwhelmed, that we are doing “too much”. When it comes to sharing the spirit of Christ in community, I feel, it can never be too much. My husband and I choose to attend what fits our needs, what is important for us and our family.
One of the most interesting events happening in our church for me is the Walk Thru the Bible on September 29th. When I first heard of this, I was so excited! Here is just what my family and I need. The Bible is God’s direct connection with us in word. The place everyone can go to at any time to experience God. Experiencing this event, as a family, will give us a common ground in faith and many future conversation starters. Plus, it looks fun!
When I told my husband he did not share in my excitement. His first comment was, how much!!? So I put it in this prospective. The week before our family of four went to dinner and a movie. The dinner was a fast food restaurant and the movie was a matinee. The cost for the 3 hours we spent together was over $100. With Walk Thru the Bible we will have church, lunch and 4 additional hours of activity for only $80.
More importantly, putting cost aside, this is another support in the foundation of our faith. This is why we started coming to church after our son was born. Growing our faith in a community centered on Christ. Teaching our children the foundations of our faith and having them experience this with those that pledged to guide their faith journey during their baptism.
Basically, a day learning the Old Testament with church friends and family… interesting and fun, taking the time to learn, understand and interact with the word of God... Priceless!