"Look! a steeple!" We have walked past this church countless times in the year since we moved to this neighborhood. We've talked about it in reference to the blue steeple that rises up from it. So when, after studying their website (http://www.woodlandparkumc.org/) we decided to visit on Sunday, we told Little N we were finally going in the building with the steeple. He declared it, the steeple with a church.
And we liked it.
I was first impressed by their work in the community. It's a small congregation with lots of personality but probably not a lot of resources. Even so, what they have is shared with folks in need and with a view to justice and sustenance. A lot of this work is conveyed on their website, but what I needed to hear and to see is what they were like on Sunday morning.
The sermon was smart, balanced, contextualized the Scripture passage, conveyed a message relevant to us today. The people were very welcoming, eager to greet new faces, and chat with us - and seemed to share that same warmth with everyone in the space. I didn't experience any instant connections or feel like I found my niche socially, but Little N joined right in at the kids table during coffee hour! He even gnawed on a piece of banana like the other kids, something he never does at home!
My dad always said you need to try a new place 3 times before you make a decision about it. So far I like what these people are about, I like that they are in my immediate neighborhood and do good work here, my next question is do I and our family fit there. (Will I make any new friends? Will we become regulars, seen and heard, seeing and hearing, there? Can I be part of the good work?) I am hoping for connection and looking for my role in connecting.