Monday, March 09, 2009

Church Hopping - Part 1

A while back I wrote that I would describe my church-hopping activities. Here's the first instalment.

On the first Sunday I went to a Catholic church. I was reminded of why I left the Catholic Church in the first place when I was a kid. It's boring. Really boring. The music is slow and emotionless. The sermon was ten minutes long, and sounded like it took about ten minutes to prepare. Of course, the sermon isn't the main point of the Catholic Mass. Communion is.

After "singing" a couple of songs to/about Mary it was soon time to go. As we walked out, hardly anybody talked to anybody else. We shook the priest's hand, through his robe, while he said "good morning" to us, avoiding eye-contact the whole time.

I wasn't seriously considering that church as a new home. A friend invited me. She had come to my church earlier, so I told her I'd go to hers.

The next Sunday I went to Beaver Creek Baptist. By this point, I was starting to wonder if friendly churches existed in Ottawa. I walked into Beaver Creek Baptist, and was assaulted with about 5 greetings within the first 3 seconds. Then people kept coming up to me and talking to me.

Score.

The music was good. It wasn't a Brian Doerksen concert, but it wasn't the organ either. The preaching was decent. Not great. Not bad. Mind you, I've been spoiled by Pastor Jack's preaching for the last bunch of years.

Then the College and Career people made sure I had the right numbers and information about their meetings and encouraged me to come out.

The following week I wasn't feeling well, so I went to Bedside Baptist with Pastor Featherpillow. I enjoyed that church, but it didn't do much for my spiritual growth.

Then I went back to Beaver Creek Baptist. I think you need to go to a church a few times in order to make a decision. I had talked up Beaver Creek Baptist with the McQueens. This time, some of them joined me. I told them I'd feel awfully bad if no one talked to them. Almost no one did. I felt bad.

The next week I took Jane with me. She met more people than the other McQueens did the week before. But less than I did when I went alone. Of course, you always meet more people in a group if you come alone. (I'm surprised at how few people know that. They'll show up to a group in their own group, shut themselves off from everyone else, then complain no one talked to them.)

Later, the McQueens said that it was because I was putting myself out there, talking to other people. I told them that I acted no differently than I did at The Meg (a Megachurch in Ottawa). I talked to people there who just looked right past me as though I wasn't there. Greeters don't count towards frienliness, BTW. They're "paid" to be friendly. It's their job. How friendly a church is will be defined by the level of friendliness of the people you meet past the greeters.

Next week I'll check out another church. I'm not sure which one yet. Stay tuned, and find out soon!

2 comments:

Arthur said...

hey,
you should try mine. I know the McQueens felt really welcome this Sunday when they came...

Andrew said...

Yeah, actually, that place was next on my list. But I don't know the real name of the church, so I couldn't come up with a pseudonym for it. I just know it as "Arthur's Church."

Maybe I should call it "The Church of St. Arthur"?