This past Sunday I attended the church my sister belongs to. It’s an Episcopalian church much like the one we grew up in. The building was absolutely gorgeous with beautiful stone and wood structure and the most amazing stained glass windows especially those at the altar. The altar itself was lovely. I really enjoyed the priest, he wasn’t so serious he that he would be unapproachable, yet serious enough that you knew he meant what he said especially during his sermon.

I couldn’t help but compare “my” church to this one. We don’t have a fancy altar nor do we have stained glass windows.  I wouldn’t even say we have a traditional altar per se, it’s more of a stage where the musicians and singers are set up and the Pastor speaks. High on the end wall hangs a simple cross. When I first started attending my church I was taken aback by all the musicians and singers on the “altar”. But I quickly got over it once the music and singing started. We sing contemporary Christian songs with older hymns thrown in here and there such as “That Rugged Cross” and “Amazing Grace” there are more (I am a friend of God) but I’m not so familiar with them to name them so quickly. I love our music worship time. To sing and worship our Lord in language that comes so easily to the tongue…it’s something that is wonderful and heartfelt.

The Episcopalian church has a formality to it. Stand, sing, sit, kneel, stand, sing again, sit, communion, etc…I’m sure there’s a particular order I’m just not used to it anymore. In my church we stand to sing and worship the Lord, we also stand in respect to reading a passage of the bible. It’s usually the passage the Pastor is going to preach on. Then we sit and our Pastor will preach for about 45 minutes to an hour, I’m guesstimating that time frame, I’ve never officially timed our Pastor. I really enjoy listening to and taking notes on our Pastor’s sermon. I like to go back and read what I’ve written and reminisce on the sermon and how it made me feel and how close to the Lord I felt. How much I felt in my heart that the Lord was speaking to me.

It was interesting to go back and attend an Episcopal church after attending my church for the past 8 years. I do prefer my church and our style of worship. To me it seems more heartfelt. I remember I tried to return to the Episcopal church I grew up in. But I left feeling empty, spiritually unfed. And they offered nothing for my children, barely a Sunday school and no youth groups or activities. My church has “kids church” every Sunday that my 9 year old attends and youth groups for middle and high schools. I love it. My older girls attended youth group and grew so much in their walk with the Lord because of those groups and their leaders.

I’m not bashing the Episcopal church I simply can’t help but compare what I have now to other worship styles. Especially after attending service so recently. I realize every church has their own style and customs, some dating back years and years. This post is not to disrespect any church that does things differently than mine does.



Week 2 with our New Pastor.

Pastor John is our new pastor. Today was the second time he preached, last week they cancelled church due to the snow storm we were clobbered with. I’m really enjoying him  He’s just so good to put it plain and simple. Pastor John is preaching from the book of Phillipians. We’re just at the beginning and its already been enlightening.

Pastor spoke of 3 things we shouldn’t forget: To never forget who helped you on your journey, to never forget who controls your journey and to remember the ultimate purpose of our journey. He packed so much into one sermon it’s difficult to summarize.

In never forgetting who helped you on your journey Pastor John spoke of the Apostle Paul never forgetting those who helped him and supported him, especially when he was in prison in Rome.

When he spoke of never forgetting the one who controls your journey, Pastor said something so profound. The God is omnipotent, nothing is beyond Him and the next thing which resonated with me so strong: “The proof of God’s goodness in not in our circumstances”. It reminded me of when I wrote my blog post titled “Blame” where I’m quick to blame God for my circumstances. Pastor John also said that God didn’t save you to make you happy-He saved you to His glory through you, as you serve his body which is the local church.

The 3rd thing we aren’t to forget is to remember the ultimate purpose of our journey. That love is a choice not an event. Love is an action and pastor spoke of the many times in the bible we are commanded to love. He stressed that love is a choice.

Another phrase that resonated with me that pastor John said is, “When God is through with you he will either kill you or come get you”. I loved that. It means if we’re still here, living that God still has a purpose for you, He’s not done with you yet. That hit me as I often wonder what is God’s purpose for me? What is his purpose for giving me a special needs son? What is his purpose for allowing me to go through clinical depression? As I stand on the edge of starting this small group/bible study I’m starting to see that maybe I’m here to encourage? I don’t know yet for sure~but since I’m still here God isn’t finished with me yet and for that I’m glad and I look forward to Him using me for His glory.