When I was growing up, my mom referred to infrequent church goers as “C & Es” meaning they only attended church at Christmas and Easter. Now I’m one of them. I didn’t plan it that way, and I consider myself a spiritual person, but attending church has never completely appealed to me.
As a teenager, I was very involved in a local Presbyterian church youth group and really enjoyed it. I even attended the classes required for church membership and became a member of the church. When I got to college, I never attended church because I was too busy with my social life. Ok, I was probably hungover on Sunday morning but don’t tell my mom! Anyway, shortly after graduating from college I dated a guy who had grown up attending church regularly so I started going with him to a Baptist church. After the relationship ended, I kept going, was baptized and joined the church. I enjoyed it and looked forward to Sunday mornings.
Then I got married (the first time) and we didn’t go. His family was Methodist and he wasn’t a church goer so I slacked off. When Steve and I got married we didn’t attend either, at first, but became involved in a small Baptist church several years into our marriage and eventually joined. Then, like many churches, the congregation split, friends left and we weren’t happy with the minister so we quit going.
It’s not that I don’t believe in God or hate anything spiritual. I pray and have a deep faith, but I just don’t show up at a church on Sunday. Truth be told, I don’t like many organized religious ceremonies. I don’t want to be entertained by a band, read Powerpoint presentations or get involved in church politics. I’m oddly old-fashioned about my religion. Give me a solid hymnal and a good minister and I’m pretty happy. I want to think while I’m there. I want to learn more about myself and how I should live my life. And I don’t want to act like I’m someone I’m not.
So Sunday I’ll go to church with my mom and Burl and pray to hear something meaningful at the “Contemporary Service.” I’ll try not to roll my eyes as the band plays or look bored as the Powerpoint presentation is on the screen. I’m not a member, but a guest so I will act accordingly. That’s how my mom taught me and her word is about as close to the Gospel as you can get!