August 28th, 2005

k00kaburra.

How should I spend my Sundays?

I have always greatly loved my church. It is small, intimate; I doubt there are more than two hundred members in the congregation. When I was a child I always looked forward to hearing Rev. Win's puppets during childrens' time. Win would bring Baa the Lamb and Lumpy the Lion, two from a cast of nearly one hundred puppets, and they would teach us simple lessons about sharing, and kindness, and loving one's neighbor as one's self. Sometimes they would tell stories of Jesus, and act out his parables and teach us his lessons. As I grew older and Rev. Win retired from the ministry, I was drawn in by Rev. Al's sermons, and his gentle voice and demeanor. He guided his flock wisely and well, even though he was only an interim – temporary – minister, with us only until the search committee located our next full-time shepherd.

That shepherd was found in Pastor Julianne Stokstad, an artistic and wonderful woman. Unfortunately, her speaking style clashed with me– perhaps it was the former schoolteacher in her, but I never felt comfortable listening to her speak. I half-expected a test at the end. She was a good woman, but I don't think I ever accepted her as my spiritual leader. I fell out of the habit of going to church, especially since Sunday was rapidly proving to be the perfect day to sleep in.

She, too, has left – Silicon Valley's expensive homes force many clergy to leave and prevent us from finding replacements quickly. But finally we have our man – Pastor Kevin. I like his style of speaking, although he has not the commanding, booming voice of Rev. Win or the years of experience that made Al such a beatific leader. I look forward to hearing him speak.

But – but – but – while the church has always felt like coming home to a large family, there is no one in my age group. There are children, and their parents, and the older generations that have come the church since it was founded forty years ago. But young adults, even older teens – there's a void. There aren't any, and as much as I love everyone I feel this gap and frankly, it's rather lonely to be the only young person around. While I want to stay and remain amongst my comfortable home, I also want to get up and go out and find another church, and find Christians my age so that I have someone sharing my experiences, to make friends with and play with. Yet I'd hate to leave my home.

But two churches?
I just don't know what to do.
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