Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Church Adventure: Week 9

This past week we drove into the city of Pittsburgh to a Cathedral. The  denomination of this weeks church was Episcopalian. I really enjoyed the pipe organ and the acoustics of such an old cathedral. The service was traditional, I did not expect anything else. As I listened to the message, I was gazing up at the beautiful arches and detailed millwork. It was breathtaking.
So far we  have experienced quite a variety during this adventure, from the mega (contemporary) to the old (traditional) worship services. On this Sunday we first took our seats kind of out of the way, in a pew that would not allow anyone else to set right next to us (the girls don’t like to sit next to strangers). I kept smelling something, and I could not put my finger on it at first. Then I recognized it, URINE…. I quickly gazed around us to see if anyone was near us, I found no one. I then noticed the kneeling pillow below me had some sort of dried liquid on it. Hmmmm. I gave the pillow a quick kick to under the pew in front of us. I then began to wonder, did the churches in the city stay open all of the time for prayers and such???? My curiosity got the best of me and I asked Brenda. Since she works downtown, I figured she would know the answer. (She always has the answer) She then explained that the downtown churches take turns during the week in staying open so that the homeless can take shelter within them. Exactly at the moment of her finishing her explanation, the pastor announced that everyone was to go to the dining room for the blessing of the palms. As soon as we started to make our way, I quietly told Brenda that we would not be sitting in that seat when we returned to the sanctuary. It was a very pleasant service, lots of ups an downs, literally, but was very nice. As we returned to our van after the worship service, we all sanitized our hands, like the germophobes we are.
As funny/gross as the story may seem, as I have typed this out, it has made me really think about our lives and our surroundings. We live a very comfortable lifestyle. It’s almost like living in a bubble, making sure we look just so and our house looks perfect. This visit made me realize (even more) the blessings that we have. A roof over our head, unconditional love from family and friends, food that we often waste, running water, electricity, heat in the cold, and cold in the heat. What amazes me more is how fast I become disenchanted with all that we have or loose focus on what is important. You know, when I have a bad day or get into one of my foul moods and lash out at my family or friends. I really needed to go to that church in the city this past Sunday. I came away, thinking, “Okay God, clearly this so much bigger than me and my family. Why, us? Why have you blessed us with so much?” Although the answer may not be clear to me right now, it has made me think and wonder, what is it I should be doing with all of these blessings?
I would appreciate some prayers this Easter weekend, that the signs that God is giving, become more clear for us. For a better understanding of what we should be doing with these gifts he has given us. I truly feel that my family and I are blessed, but have a deep desire for us to be a blessing to others during this journey He has created for us.
This coming week we will be at our home church, VPC. It will be good to see familiar faces on Easter Sunday. The following week I think we will visit a back country church. Oh, the diversity we are experiencing, it is an amazing adventure.
Thanks for taking time out of your day to visit my blog. Please take a moment to leave a comment.
For those of you wondering what this adventure is all about click on the following link: Church Adventure or the weekly links below.
A Church Adventure: Week 1
A Church Adventure: Week 2
A Church Adventure: Week 3
A Church Adventure: Week 4
A Church Adventure: Week 5
A Church Adventure: Week 6
A Church Adventure: Week 7
A Church Adventure: Week 8

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