I have a hard time finding a church home. During our last three duty stations, it took until we were almost ready to move before I happened upon the church that would be my rock of faith. Then, of course, we moved.
My husband does not attend church, unless it's a very special occasion. I am okay with this.
I've been to 9 churches in 6 years. I joined one of them, until my husband came back from a deployment and the congregants kept asking me when he'd come to church with me and saying that they would pray he'd change.
Let me repeat-- I am okay with his choice. I go to church for personal reasons. He avoids it for equally personal reasons. God knows our hearts.
So, after living in the same area for all of these 6 years and still not finding a "home," I am setting out to start something new for myself.
For a year, I will visit a new church each week.
Big churches, small churches, friends' churches and houses of worship where I am a total stranger-- all on my list. If we travel, I will find a place to visit any Sunday we are traveling. I hope I'll find people to join me here, on this blog, to read about my experiences.
Sure, this has been done before.
52 Prayers. A Stranger Every Sunday has continued past her one-year search to continue writing. There is a book, called "My 52 Weeks of Worship".
So...why do it? I wanted to get in the habit of going to church. Without a church home, it is very easy to lose steam and lose that feeling of building something with your presence-- I am all out of steam. By purposefully intending to always be a visitor, I can build a church habit without expecting any church to be "the one". Perhaps I should rename this blog "Speed Dating for a Church" because that is how I imagine it will feel.
Wish me luck.
Note: When I first decided to do this project, I wanted it to be fairly organized. This way, I knew what to look for at each church service and could focus on that to distract myself from the sheer nerves that accompany a new church visit. So, dear visitors, there will be several things you can expect to see about each of my church visits.
Church name: I will not always list the name of the church, though-- if my visit goes horribly awry, or if it seems like it would do more harm than good to mention the church name, I won't list it. If I list it, I will give contact information, location, website if available, and other information as I can find it.
Music: Music is so important to me in a church setting, and I sense I am not alone in this. I'll write at least some lyrics from the music, and if I know the name of the song I'll share it.
Verse: I'll write down at least one notable verse, how it fits in the sermon, and what it means to me.
Book or other outside source: Sometimes ministers or speakers will read from books. If that's the case, I'll put the book on here and how it fit in the service.
Size of congregation. Is it huge? Teeny?
Time of service.
Who was there? Some churches are very young, and some are older. Some are a good mix of age, race, ethnicity and background while others are more focused. I think this is good to know.
How did I feel? Would I go back? Why or why not? This last part is the most important one for me, as it helps me keep track of churches for when this year is over.