My two youngest daughters cried this morning when I explained that we would not be going to church today. This is the 3rd week that we have missed church. A few months ago, we began to visit a WELS church in a town about 30 miles to our east. The worship service was excellent and the members welcoming. So far, we haven't found any objections to the service. The problem is the distance and the price of gas. It costs about $20 to drive one round trip. Mike works on Sundays, but in the opposite direction of the church. So he needs to leave the service early to get to work on time. We can't afford to take two vehicles to church.
On Tuesday, Mike ran into the pastor from the Missouri synod church in our town. We had liked the church, but there were some things that bothered me. I feel that it is the pastor's calling to read scripture to the members. This church has older women read the scripture readings. There are a few other more minor things that bothered me, but it was a matter of my personal preference. Then the church, at the pastor's insistence, began to hold a contemporary service on Saturday (with a praise band and leader) and a folk service on Saturday morning. The traditional service was pushed to the earlier time of 8:30.
I've already discussed my concerns about the new types of worship that the church was offering and my increasing level of discomfort. The last time we attended was the Sunday that the pastor used the folk service instead of the traditional service with no prior notice.
During Mike's conversation with the pastor on Tuesday, we learned that the other services have been discontinued. The pastor stated that the members were not ready for alternative styles of worship. But, now I'm in a quandary. Do we return to attending the Missouri synod church because we can attend services each week and be involved in choir, youth group, and confirmation. A church where attendance isn't a financial burden? Or do we consider joining the church 30 minutes away, recognizing that we won't be able to attend each week and will not be able to participate in anything except worship service? I miss attending church each week. My soul yearns for communion on a regular basis.
Mike doesn't care what we do, but doesn't want us to join a church where I have reservations and am waiting for the next problem to appear. Why is finding a church home so difficult?