This past Sunday, I didn't go to church at my church. I feel really weird about it. I went to the ELCA church in Sis and BiL's town. Sis is a member of my church, but it's about half an hour away from their house and they don't get to worship as often as they'd like. So, I offered to go with them to the ELCA church in their town, in hopes that they'd like it and be able to go more often. So, we went. I was slightly disappointed though. They didn't have a "regular" worship service because this past Sunday, the Sunday school children put on their program. That took the place of what they usually do.
Now, don't get me wrong; I love children, and I'm glad I got to see their Christmas program. It was nice, because I haven't been able to see a Christmas program at church in a long time. The kids did a pretty good job, even though one of the little shepherds pulled his head covering askew so he could rest his head on his staff and go to sleep on the sly. :) And I realize that if the youth do not feel recognized and important now, odds are they will stop coming to worship in the future. And we don't want that because Jesus was all about inviting the little ones to Him.
On the other hand, this experience helped me realize just how much I appreciate the liturgy, the readings, the prayers, and the sermon. Some people do not like the structure of the average ELCA worship service. I once heard a criticism that it was too structured and left no room for newcomers to feel comfortable. When I was a newcomer, I think that perhaps I didn't like it either, but now I really appreciate all that goes into our worship services.
I'm also slightly disappointed that I didn't get to hear a sermon by a Lutheran pastor not my own. I absolutely LOVE my pastor and I really like his sermons, but his is the first church I've ever really attended. I used to attend Sunday school at the Christian church across from my house, but never really went to worship. Therefore, I was looking forward to hearing someone else's sermon. Oh well. The kids' message came across well, so that's good.
The best news is that Sis and BiL said they'd like to continue to go there. I'm happy. I like when people are led to attend worship regularly. I especially would like them to go more often so that when Nephew gets older, he can attend Sunday school in a regular fashion. I'm one of his Godparents; I gotta look out for the boy! And with that, I'm going to go to bed. I need to get up in the morning and work on cleaning my house. I'm graduating from college in 4!!! days!!! Wow!