Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sundays are beautiful.

Well, actually, Fridays are beautiful too.  That's when I took these.

It's still very much Fall here.  The trees have been slowly changing.  It's magical to look up through a yellow tree and see the clear blue sky.  The red ones are unbelievably pure.

Saturday was a work day for Alex.  It's particularly difficult when Alex has to work all day Saturday because we have an unstructured day ahead.  Waking up with 2 children and nothing planned is scary.  But I always come up with something interesting to do (and no, going to the grocery store or the park is not interesting).  So the girls and I headed to a local church's Christmas Bazaar to get some lunch and look for goodies.  It was nice.  I spent some time at a Stella and Dot booth.  Amazing jewelry.  It was nice.  But I was reminded again how important that churches are in touch with young people.  There has to be fun things to keep little children occupied so that the parents shop longer.  Think Bubble Bounce.  There has to be vendors that appeal to the young, the old, and the in between.  Quilt and Stella and Dot booths.  Church doesn't have to be an old person place.

I wonder if you have associations with churches.  Are churches out of touch?  Full of old people?  Archaic and Dying?  Are they shallow? Are they boring?  Are they mega?  Are they fun?  Are they graceful?  Are they judgmental?  Are they obligatory?  Are they peaceful, joyful, kind?  Restful or Busy?

If you want, let me know what the church is to you.  I'm curious.  You can be honest.  I'd love to hear.


Willa J. said...

These are absolutely beautiful, Emily. The last two especially! And as always, I love your thoughts about church and 'old' people. It's funny that many of our churches have gotten that way. So glad All Saints is not!

Molly said...

i think i've experiened the array of churches--the judgemental, the loving, the mega, the narrow, the graceful, the broken, the law-driven, the old, the young, the rock star, the orthodox, the cliquey, and the friendly. hopefully, with God's grace, all people will know His love, even when the church goes astray.

ps what a cute pink dress!

Alex and Emily said...

Willa J, All Saints is losing one of my most favorite "young adult." I'll miss you more than you know!

Molly, well said! Every church is flawed. Every person is flawed. Well said, Sis. And about that dress . . . I've had women ask me where they could get one for themselves. It's high fashion!

Brookie said...

Honestly... the churches I've had experiences with post-college are unwelcoming. That's not to say that people don't greet you the door and make sure you have a program - but that is pretty much where the welcome ends.

Today Chris and I ate at the church for a fundraiser and it did not at all surprise me that we ate with two new people to the church -- all the people I would consider "church elders/church leaders/very involved young adults and very involved families all ate together. They seemed excited to have the opportunity to catch up together rather than meet and welcome new people.

In addition, after living here nearly 2 years (2 years come Feb), I am still an un-plugged member of the church. I'd say the past year of that has been my fault, but the first year was that each effort I made to become involved went un-encouraged, un-substantiated, and without follow-through. After a year of living here, I got very tired of trying to hold myself up between the cracks - and so I let go.

Now, just heading back, I've stopped hoping to find friends and fellowship there - but I know the teaching is good and I need to re-establish the habit of attending.

Thank you for encouraging and welcoming authentic responses.

Alex and Emily said...

Thanks for the honest response, Brooke. I find that your experience is more often the norm and not the exception. It's such loss for everyone. It's a loss for you because you aren't feeling connected to a church body and it's a loss for the church because you are a fabulous person. I hope you can connect in some way soon. (BTW...I know a great church in Edwards... :-)

Joanna said...

Em - your girls are gorgeous! I loved peeking in on your life today - so much fun to hear your voice through your posts and beautiful photos. I'm glad you all are having a happy fall!