Sunday, May 29, 2011


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?


Barb the Evil Genius said...

Um, easy answer is that Satan tries to keep us from Word and Sacrament anyway he can. Now I've got Dana Carvey in my head.

We are facing the same thing here. We drive past at least two Missouri Synod churches to get to the one at which we worship. At both of these, I attended their grade school. One is where Mr. BTEG and I were married, and where my daughters attended preschool and early grade school (my eldest.) Most of the Lutheran churches around here are not confessional anymore.

It is awful that the high price of gas is limiting our activities to such an extent. I pray that something works out for the best for your family.

Barb the Evil Genius said...

This website shows churches which do not have contemporary services and do practice closed Communion. You probably know about all of them but I thought I'd give it to you just in case.

Melrose said...

little things can turn into very big things later...unfortunately :(. We've had several experiences with it in our home churches and unfortunately the move to church growth type movements are a state of mind...if it's there, there's no stopping it unless the pastor realizes that church isn't about pleasing the people, but giving them God's gifts. Good luck!

MaryAnn said...

Wonderful comments of a shared mindset! The ways of the world do weigh in on the churches of today, dispite what scripture says about that! Praying for you and your family to find peace in the church that you choose.