Do you ever drop in to another church's service? I love the church I attend on Sundays, but over the years I have had many opportunities to branch out and experience other types of Sunday services, and is always love the experience.
As a child I remember attending both the United church service with my grandmother. I remember loving the beautiful gowns of the choir, and how they sang during their processional to the choir benches. I loved when we all stood up to shake hands with the people behind us, and how my grandmother's friends always gushed over her beautiful grandchildren. I loved when the minister would invite the children up to sit at beside him on the stairs and he related a story and scripture just for us little ones. I remember the cold beige tiled hall in which we all gathered afterwards. And I adored the deep chimes of the old bells as they swung high above my head.
Now and then, before my grandfather passed away when I was ten, we also attended the Salvation Army service. He was a talented musician and I remember being swept away by the hymns sung out by all the shiny instruments.
When James was first exploring faith and religion, we chose a different church in the neighbourhood each Sunday and sat in in many different types of worship services from all faiths, to hear their different messages and feel the different styles of worship.
Since moving to Orangeville, I've attended a women's bible study at the local Baptist church on Thursday mornings. I love when they do a Beth Moore study that takes me deeper in scripture than I've ever experienced before. And I have learned more about the true nature of prayer during their half hour prayer circles, helping me to finally move beyond a rote recitation and toward honest conversation.
Currently, on Sundays, I am the primary president, which means I am in charge of the children's ministry. That means that Sundays, for me, are about helping 75 children under the age of 12 learn and develop their own faith. It's a wonderful calling, but often means I don't get a private, personal way to worship and refill.
On Friday Juliette and I were walking to the park, and as I walked by the towering a United church I noticed that they were holding a new service on Friday evenings, and my heart leapt. A yearning opened up that I didn't know was there, one to sit quietly in a large space, unknown to the physical bodies around me, where my spirit could commune one on one with my God. Then, around the corner, the Catholic Church's parking lot was full, presumably for a service of some sort, and I longed to veer off the sidewalk and slip into a bench and simply sit privately in the back and soak in God's word.
This is a busy time of life, and having a house full of young children means there aren't moments to slip out to other places to have these needs filled. But it did open my eyes to a spiritual yearning for a holy place within the walls of my house where I can commune deeper, longer, than I have been lately.