What began earlier this year was a pilgrimage of sorts, with our daughter stepping out on her own to find a church home, has now come to a close. This would be the first church that she chose, rather than attending the church where her parent/s were on staff. It marked the beginning of a spiritual journey that seemed to have culminated, interestingly and appropriately enough, on Easter Sunday morning.

It has been an exciting journey, and one that gave our daughter the opportunity to step out in faith on her own…with a little help from her mom. For her it has been a step of faith.  For us, her parents, it has been “a time to refrain from embracing.” She is our youngest, and though she isn’t leaving the nest yet, she is preparing by strengthening her wings. She is growing. She is amazing.

A brief recap – previously, we visited Presbyterian, (Cooperative) Baptist, Independent, and Methodist churches. Honestly, we stayed pretty close to the theological roots formed in our Baptist tradition. We heard some pretty average sermons, a few excellent ones, and experienced a range of beautiful music…some of which was very, very loud, and we experienced various “levels” of congregational participation. (Somewhere along the way, rather than churches incorporating Christ’s admonition that his house be known as “a house of prayer,” some have become houses of really long sermons, seemly showcasing pastors who preach “at” you, rather than walk with you on your pilgrim journey, or houses of “look at all the programs we have going on, thus, we must be holy.”)

But enough of my rant – now I’ll try to get back on-topic.

There were two more churches that our daughter wanted to visit – one, a fairly new independent Christian congregation, with branches across the country, and then, another Methodist church.

Independent church – had the best praise band we’ve heard. As musicians, the first thing that we notice is, of course, the music! Excellent praise band, instrumentalists and singers, that led songs that were theologically sound with music that didn’t scare your ears. Daughter (and mom) knew every song and were able to sing along in worship. Guest preacher, so we didn’t really get to hear the pastor preach. Wonderful mix of generations and races. I thought this could be one that my daughter might choose, or at least come back for another visit to hear the pastor preach.

Methodist church – We both enjoyed worship at this community church. The folks were ultra-friendly. The music was good/appropriate and the sermon was good…another good possibility.

And on Easter Sunday, the daughter surprised me when she accepted my invitation to worship with me at the blended service at our church, which was excellent. And it was a blessing to me, to be able to sit with our daughter and worship together. (When she attended before, she would go to the contemporary service, and I would participate in the blended service, where I was a choir member.)

Thus ended this particular part of the journey. Daughter has decided to attend a Presbyterian church that we visited. She likes the traditional worship and the closeness of the fellowship, how they pray for members by name during the service. Also, she likes the size – that it’s not a huge church. She enjoys the pastor’s sermons and thinks he’s humorous. She also enjoys their choir and handbell choir…a nod, I think, to all the handbell choirs I have directed at former churches.

In the U.S. we are so blessed to be able to sit at a huge banquet table of worship, with choices not available to millions of Christian’s world-wide, some of whom are not allowed to openly worship, for fear of arrest or worse. We are indeed blessed. And I thank God for allowing me to be part of our daughter’s spiritual journey of worship.

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Kim Chafee

I am a lover of the God who sings! I am a Christ-follower and an ordained minister married to the other Rev. Chafee (Scott), with two grown children and a multitude of pets. And, I love chocolate. Read more about me and the reason for this blog on my ABOUT page.

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