Well, our family attended the local Anglican parish this morning for the first time in over two years. My wife told me a few weeks ago that she was ready to go and that she just felt like it was time. I had to be out of town for a week so this Sunday was the first opportunity.
It was a bit stressful as she started expressing serious anxiety over the whole matter on the way there, mostly due to it being so “different” from what we’re used to but another unspoken issue is a perception that it’s an affluent church full of skinny, pretty people. She’s afraid we won’t relate to the families there who are (mostly) in a higher economic class than we are and that our kids will have a hard time making friends with all the rich private school kids.
Overall, I think it went fine. There was the normal fumbling with the Book of Common Prayer and not being sure what to do next. We’d tried to prepare the kids for what to do during the Eucharist but since they didn’t have they’re hands cupped and held out, the rector thought they weren’t receiving this morning and simply gave them a blessing. On the other hand, a friend of mine from high school is involved with the children’s ministry and came up to meet my family. She then took us around to show us the Sunday School programs, explain the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd and I think all of that helped. Plus the sermon was really good. So all in all I think it went fairly well.
I really want us to give this a real, open-minded attempt this time around. Last time we visited for 4 weeks or so, but never engaged. We plan on attending Sunday School next week and I want us to really try to immerse ourselves in the life of this church.
So, I covet your prayers. I ultimately want to be where God wants us to be, but I want to give this place every chance. So please pray that my wife’s anxiety will subside and that she will truly be open-minded to the liturgy, the quieter, slower pace and the other things this church has to offer versus your typical contemporary evangelical megachurch experience we’re used to. And help us and the kids to make new friends we can relate to and that relate to us.