Sunday, December 12, 2010


does going to church, often make me extremely crabby????

more on this later,

So, it's now 'later'.  To be honest, I really like the church we attend.  The people have been really pretty good about attempting to understand S's diagnosis, which helps. 

I think I am just constitutionally predisposed to 'not want to play nice', sometimes.  Sometimes we'll be sitting in church - this place that is meant to be one's true faith community - and I'll look around and think that 99% of the people sitting there really know nothing about me, or us as a family.  They might remember our names, maybe.  But I seem to have a talent for finding myself if situations where I know, deep down, I don't quite fit in.  This church experience has been no different.

B and I started attending this church just before S was born.  B grew up in a UCC church (Protestant), and I am still Catholic, I guess.  After we moved to our current residence, we needed to find a place to attend church where we both felt comfortable.  As a Protestant, B is "not allowed" to take communion in a Catholic mass; and the services at the UCC church where he grew up and where we got married felt too much like simple prayer services and not enough like Mass.  We felt we needed to decide on one church; to try and continue attending a Catholic church where B didn't feel welcome would just become confusing for the kids.  Luckily we found St. P's, which was traditional enough to suit us both.  It has been a good choice; I'm not sure it is ever possible to find a place to worship and grow your faith which always fits like a glove.  And perhaps, if I don't exactly always feel welcome at St. P's, it may be my own fault.  Possibly I put up walls which are easily sensed by others, I don't know.

Part of what gets to me at our church is the simple fact of income differences.  We have happenened onto a church community which, while located in an urban setting, has a congregation whose personal financial status often falls within the upper middle-class bracket.  That is definitely not us, at the moment, and I don't know that it ever will be.  Even if we won buckets of money tomorrow, I'm not sure I would turn into one of "them" - for one thing, we don't own a boat or belong to the yacht club.  I know I don't exactly "fit in" with most of the other moms in the church.  My clothes aren't quite as nice, my hair isn't cut as frequently, and my personality isn't as smoothed over as that of the women in the church who haved lived in financial comfort all their lives. 

So, maybe I analyze the differences too much.  Maybe I'm assuming what others' perceptions of me/us might be.  And really, the important thing about attending church and being active within one's church community isn't making friends or fitting in or, even, feeling "comfortable" on a regular basis.  I'm not going to church on Sundays to be reassured that I'm making socially acceptable or politically correct choices, right? It's about checking in with God.  So I guess I can do that.  I'm not in favor of church-shopping just because another family (or a whole bunch of families!) in our church have more money than we do at the moment.  I'm not in favor of bouncing around from church to church at all, actually.  God sent us to this church for a reason, I guess.

I do hope, though, that the parking situation improves SOON.  That was the source of my grumpiness today; it was ridiculous, I could barely get the car out of the parking lot.


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