I’ve been struggling lately, not with faith, but with the institution of church in its physical form. I’m not baptized, but I have Christian beliefs and attend a Christian church. The only religion in my life growing up was going to a Catholic secondary school where I took part in choir, took Religious Education which I excelled in and attended the mandatory school Masses.
When I got married I chose to start attending a local church, I really enjoyed the worship music they provided, especially as I see singing as my closest form of prayer. It was also a far cry from Catholic Mass that often left me feeling like an outsider, a sinner (for not being able to participate) and really left a sour taste in my mouth. Eventually I stopped going regularly, feeling lost in such a large crowd of people and not connected to the sermons I heard each Sunday.
Since having Calvin I started attending the same church (different campus) again and found it was a much better experience this time around. Calvin enjoyed daycare while I enjoyed a much smaller crowd and was able to connect better with the teachings. This campus just closed and it has directed us back to the campus I had originally attended. Calvin is loving daycare still (especially as he just moved up a group), but I’m starting to get that claustrophobic feeling again.
The music is great, the sermons are done well and people are friendly. But I’m the kind of person who wants to sit down, sing, learn and leave. That may seem like a very separatist and rude outlook, but I find some of the actions performed each week, like greeting your neighbor (of who’s name you soon forget) an arbitrary task. I also feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of people around me. I sit myself always on the end of the row just incase I need to fetch Calvin and also so that I don’t feel boxed in.
I’m trying my best to keep attending, it’s great for Calvin to get a start in church at an early age so that later on in life, he can decide for himself whether to continue on a Christian path. For myself, I need some time to reconnect, to overcome whatever these feelings are and to perhaps at some point consider taking the next step into becoming Christian through the act of baptism.
In the meantime, I’ll continue to lift up my voice and my hands to God.