If you know me in real life then you know I have strong opinions about the church and mainly how much I dislike being inside one. BUT I discovered a church that is different than the rest. I remember going to a Chri.stian church when I was a child with my grama, where the most positive things I gained were some donuts and a cup of apple juice and the negative things were fears of G.od and going to hell for all eternity. (No offense to anyone, that's just what I got out of church as a small child).
Today I packed up my family and we headed to the First Unitarian Universalist Church where all beliefs are respected and the core values are love, respect, and asking questions on your own spiritual path wherever it may lead you. The service was beautiful! There was lots of songs, the speaking parts were meaningful to us and pretty short (ten minutes at most) there were several different speakers, telling stories and leading us in meditation. I loved that there was meditation! They spoke of the importance of Winter Solstice and that it is a time of rest and pause and invited us all to pause, take a deep breath, close our eyes and take a few quiet moments together.
The children put on a pageant, they sang songs and there were people playing instruments (guitar, piano, bass, etc). The play they put on was so cute, it was about a lady who watched the children waiting for the school bus each day by a big fir tree and she noticed one little girl who had no mittens. So she went home and took our her yarn scraps and knitted some mittens for the little girl and left them on the fir tree the next morning. She watched with delight as the little girl found the mittens and put them on. (The stage was set with a big artificial tree) The kids in the play stopped to sing a song, and invited everyone in the congregation to come up and put the scarves, hats, mitts and everything else they wanted to donate onto the tree. They even had extra mittens to put on the tree for people who would like to, but forgot to bring something (a lovely lady handed some to Chuck and Skyler). They take the mittens and scarves and hats to a charity for children after the service I was told. It was beautiful! I wish I had known, I would have crocheted something.
And as for the people, they were so friendly and welcoming! Everyone came up to say hello and comment on how cute and well behaved Skyler was. Everyone had a cheerful "good morning!" for us. Even the lady next to me said good morning as I sat down and chatted with me at the pauses during service. A lady behind me tapped my shoulder to say hello and comment on the service. And afterwards lots of people came up to welcome us and remark on how cute our baby was. Even the reverend (a lovely lady) came up to us to say hello and that she was glad we came. She told us the baby is more than welcome, and she doesn't mind "baby noises" at all during the service. She said if he is more comfortable we are welcome to walk him around in the church or the foyer (or wherever we'd like) during the service.
So yes for the first time ever I can say I enjoyed church, and in fact I want to go back next week. I definitely wouldn't mind being a member of this congregation at all.
In other news, my little monster learned to hold his own bottle last night! It only took what seemed like forever, but he's doing it on his own now. OH and I'm on winter break! Woohoo! I hope you are all as well as I am today. Anyhow I must go start rushing around to get things ready for tonight's dinner.
Happy Holidays Everyone!