I think my church dilemma may be solved, though not without its casualties. Once I decided that I did not need to meet new friends my age at church, everything got a whole lot easier. Well, and there were only seemingly 1-2 new friend potentials anyway at the churches I was considering.
For the last few Sundays, I’ve been going to Palo Alto CRC. It’s a frontrunner in the new church home category for a few reasons. First, it reminds me the most of Covenant in Sioux Center. The people have been friendly and welcoming, but not in a nosy or overbearing way. Actually, I think that by the end of today, every single person in the church had at some point come up and welcomed me, and told me they were glad I was there. Another reason–it has solid doctrine and thoughtful preaching. Also, there is no conspicuous Christian flag, a good sign that it’s not overly right leaning. Actually, after talking to another teacher who goes there, it’s probably a lot more left leaning.
I also like that there are female elders and deacons, and when we had communion this morning, everyone was invited. They had an “affirmation of baptism” which I’d never seen before in a CRC church, but it was interesting. Some of my students were actually up there, so that was great.
Of course every church has it’s drawbacks. There don’t seem to be any glaring ones here, except for 2 things that may either go in the drawbacks or points for category. First, it’s really small. Maybe 75 people in the morning service…although I suck at estimating numbers. So, this evening in their once a month evening service, I counted and there were 21 people, including myself and the preacher. But like I said, I’m not sure if this is a plus or a minus. The other plus/minus is that I am by far the youngest adult there. The next oldest adult is probably a teacher from school who is I think 5 years older than me, married with babies. But, this may not be all bad. It may be good in that I can learn a lot from the wisdom of everyone there. I’m not ready to become a member yet or anything, but I definitely feel an affinity.
Oh, I almost forgot–tonight there was some time left at the end of the service, and real casually the pastor asked if there were any song requests. Two kids (who both go to my school) picked my 2nd least favorite, and my definitely least favorite songs ever. #2 least favorite–As the deer. I have not, nor will I ever, relish the idea of being deer-like. Yes, I know it’s Biblical, but still. And, drum roll, my least favorite song–Living for Jesus. It’s not only my least favorite because it was the Cadet theme song and therefore sung way too much, but there’s something about the melody that just grates on me–it’s the reaching on the 2nd syllable of living…It sounds very “Little House on the Prairie” to me. Minus two points for PACRC, or at least it’s younger members.