Moving this past time has put us far enough away from our old church to require church hunting again. We dreaded it. Our last church hunting experience was grueling--it was several weeks before we even found churches we could possibly tolerate, we were strangers in a strange town and felt, on the whole, like severed limbs in search of a body. (The fact that I was newly pregnant and wanted to puke if I disagreed with anything in the service didn't help.)
One day we were on a country drive and saw an adorable little white church in the woods with a red door.
"What a cute church!" we said, "We should go there. Except that's a stupid reason to choose a church."
A few weeks later we decided we needed to buy a house and called a mortgage broker who happened to have been at one of the churches we had checked out recently.
"If you're looking for a church," he said, "You should try my dad's church." Well, it was the cute little church with the red door, and it was just right. Indeed, it wasn't long before DOB's entire family had joined, as it was much closer to home than their former church.
Anyway, joining there was as great or greater a relief as finally getting into a home of our own with clean air. (I did throw up there once, but it wasn't the doctrine or practice that disagreed with me, just the potluck food.)
But we were dreading another months-long ordeal this time. We drew up a lengthy list of all the churches we knew of or had heard of that were likely prospects or even just mildly curious.
One of the ones on the list was one that an old friend of DOB's attended. Since this old friend was now in our new neighborhood, and since the church also was pretty close by, it was a good candidate for a first try.
The first try was nice, but the pastor was out of town, and really, you can't make a decision on one visit. We were still attending our old church most of the time. But we stopped in again to hear the pastor.
Then we moved. A crew of total strangers from the church showed up at nine at night--after VBS got out--to move in most of our furniture.
So it seemed only natural to go again that Sunday. We kept meaning to go attend other churches, but we kept not getting around to it. Churches we were thinking about visiting kept dropping off the list.
This week we really, really were meaning to attend another church; it was close by, after all, and maybe we should give it a chance. We looked it up on the internet: not only did it have a "fully graded" Sunday School, but an entire separate Sunday morning youth worship service. (DOB: "Oh, you're seventeen-and-a-half now? Then you can attend the special 'Why Seventeen-and-a-Half-Year-Olds Are Better!' class.")
So we gave it up. There were little kids and teenagers and the lame and the blind in the service at the other church. In the pew next of us one of the regular members of the church was sitting with a lady who apparently had some serious mental or emotional troubles and couldn't make it through the service, so the other lady patiently stepped out and back in with her. Nobody looked askance (well, except DOB) when D2 uttered exclamations.
We like it there. Maybe we'll get around to visiting somewhere else. Or maybe not.