Tuesday, January 14, 2014

East End UMC

I don't know why I wait so long to write my posts! It is February 19, not January at all! : )

We've been visiting East End once a month since last summer. I didn't have a grand plan to make it this regular, but it is wonderful, and I'm glad we have created this monthly routine/ritual. We really like the people, everyone is so friendly & hospitable. It is so interesting being a visitor, after growing up in a church family for years, familiar & comfortable with who, what, where, how, why.

I know UMC traditions, Judi & Matt, who were at Edgehill for 8.5 years, are now at EEUMC, as well as Kris & her mom. It's also nice to be a visitor & observe what is going on, but not be in charge of anything or asked to be responsible.  The children's program is a big draw, lots of young children, many around the age of my girls. We participate in afternoon Sunday School each week, which is a great way to be involved more often than one time a month. Typically I drop off the girls & run errands, either 99 cents shopping at Goodwill or grocery shopping which is super helpful & convenient for 1.5 hours without children. Jai gets another break at home, too. He's usually cooking dinner, sometimes cleaning whatever he didn't finish that weekend. However, I am not participating, not getting to know church members or cultivating my spiritual development. I need to attend Adult Sunday School at least once a month. I attended Safe Santuctuary training in January & that was great, got to interact with some members & remind myself of safe church policies.

We're driving in 5 Points area on our way to church, Julia reading sign posts.
Julia: "Why is it called East End?"
Tara: "I don't know."

Jai: talking with Julia about him coming with us on the 1 Sunday each month we visit EEUMC
Julia: "It would be my pleasure."

Of course these comments make me laugh. So much of what Julia says is funny. She's a character.

This has been an interesting experience/process for our family, how Jai fits into church, especially since having children. He goes twice a year - Easter & Christmas Eve. He goes camping, potlucks, game night or whatever "fun" activities, but not regular Sunday attendance. Some of it is for practical purposes - Jai needs a break, us going to church for 2 hours gives him some time without children. Also Jai has always thought of Edgehill as weird.

Going to East End has been an adjustment for me in terms of the environmental factors. There are pews, tall ceilings, wood panels, organ, pastor sitting high up front, choir sitting high above everyone & behind pastor, stained glass, historic building, elaborate architecture.  It definitely is what I, and others, call "high church" - not typically my style. Yet it is a great compromise to incorporate Jai into family church routine - it's not every Sunday so he can still get his break 3 out of 4 Sundays.

If I wasn't so tied to Edgehill, I could see us going to East End on a regular basis. It is nice to be in a neighborhood church - worshiping in our community. I enjoy seeing people at Y, grocery store, restaurants - that is fun! Jai went to the Christmas program Julia was in. February will be the first time he attends worship service with us. Interesting! : )