Sunday, July 27, 2008

May peace be with you

I went to church this morning! I hate to admit it, but I think this is the first time I've gone since moving here 2 years ago (and if I DID go, it's been long enough that I don't remember it). It's a Lutheran (which I kind of "picked" as my religion in my mid-20s--I'm not baptized or anything, though) church with absolutely breath-taking stained glass windows. (If I ever get married, this is totally the church in which I'd like to do it.)

At the beginning of the service, they asked first time visitors to raise their hands and introduce themselves. There were a good 150-200 people there, so--yeah, no thank you. I did, however, stop to talk to the pastor (in his 50s or 60s) and the assistant pastor (late 20s) on my way out.

Here was the conversation:

Me: (I introduced myself, and we spent about 30 seconds as he tried to master my last name, LOL.)
Pastor 1 (the older one): "Is that with a C?" he finally asked.
Me: "No, it's with a K-R-Z-Y-S."
P1: "Well, that's a doozy." LOL
Me: "Yeah. I'm pretty Polish." (Pretty Polish??? I'm such a dork.) "And I should confess that I'm a first time visitor and didn't raise my hand."
P1: "Well, that's quite all right, Jennifer. You are officially forgiven." He smiled and asked, "So what brought you here today?"
Me: "Oh, you know. I'm just kind of scouting the place out."
P1: "Well, I'm honored that you chose to scout us out today. I've been there myself."
(I really liked him)
Then he introduced me to P2, who also spent about 30 seconds trying to "get" my last name.
Me: "Yeah, it tripped him up, too", which made P2 laugh pretty hard.
P2: "So, are you new to the area?"
Me: "No...just new, I guess."
P2: "Well, thank you so much for coming. I hope we'll see you again."

What made this exchange so important is that it took place as we were all filing out of the sanctuary. There was a huge line of people behind me, and they took the time to truly welcome me, talk to me and learn about me. I really liked that. Plus, there was no pressure or anything, no trying to "sell" the church. They made me feel welcome and comfortable--and that was all.

And THAT'S why I think I found my new church.

PS--I didn't do the wafer-and-wine thing, otherwise known to you religious folk out there as "communion." I've never done it, actually. Many faiths, including Lutheran, allow those who are unbaptized to participate, as long as you share the fundamental beliefs, but I decided early on that I don't want to do it until I'm officially baptized. I don't know why, but it's something that's important to me. Symbolic, I guess.


Jen said...

oh yeah--and on the stop sign as you leave the parking lot and turn onto the major street, there's another sign that says, "You are now entering the mission field."

I thought that was cute.

keesh said...

wow, good for you Jen. I didnt go to Church today, you can understand why...I am going to go feel it out soon though and if the "topic" comes up, then I will have my answer if i need to find a new Church to call home or not. Actually a friend of mine got married recently and her pastor (lutheran) and i had a good talk and I think he is pretty laid back and all. So that is my next choice if things don't work out at my current place. meaning if anyone actually has the balls to criticize Me or anyone involved in the campaign I support :)

Anna said...

That's so cool! I'm glad you went and had a good experience.
I find that when I go it makes my whole week better, I feel more centered and positive. I hope you find the same to be true for you :)

sparkydiva said...

i'm an ordained minister of the christ life church. {no, seriously}. i can throw a bucket of water on you and pronounce you baptised if you'd like...then you can drink in church and it will all be cool.

seriously - congrats. it feels like finding your second home when you've found your church. its AWESOME.

Jen said...

LOLOL. Hey sparky, I'm thinking. any chance you can come to chicago next summer for our next Girls' Weekend aka Blog Party with me, Kish and Renee? Seriously, that would rock

I'm an ordained minister too, technically, with Universal Life Church. Wait a minute. I could baptize MYSELF, next time I go to the beach or take a shower or something. =-)

Jen said...

BTW Anna: yeah, I know what you mean. I DO feel better when I go. Kind of like working out: you may have to talk yourself into doing it sometimes, but you're always glad you did

sparkydiva said...

i bet i could work that out - sounds like a blast!! we could throw a baptism party! maybe marry some people while we're at!!

blog par-taaayyyyy!!

Jen said...

Hahahahhaha. Sweet!

Renee said...

I'll gladly host such events, but I'm not getting baptized. LOLOLOLOL at baptizing yourself at the beach or in the shower! Ha!

I'm glad you found a place where you felt so welcome and comfortable right from the get go. And hey, maybe you can meet a fellow at church who doesn't believe in cheating! Is P2 married? Cute? LOL.

Jen said...

Did you really just say "fellow"?


And yes, he's married. However, I did let out a big guffaw (is that how you spell it?) at the thought of ME being married to a PASTOR.

I'm guffawing again, with a side of snorting.

Renee said...

I laughed my ass off, too, for that reason and thinking of him meeting me and John and immediately dying :-)

Jen said...

He'd burst into flames. Hahahahha

Renee said...

LMAO :-) Whatever, he may burst into flames after hearing your trucker mouth, too :-)

Jen said...

F&%^ you, you f*&^%% &^%$&. I don't have a &^%$(#(* trucker mouth.

Renee said...

You lying, dirty w$^*^! Go eat a *&^% you nasty &^^%!