Monday, June 20, 2011

Church Stuff

I grew up Presbyterian - actually, we were unaffiliated until I was in 2nd grade.  I knew about church from my very Catholic neighbor friend Jodie, because we'd "play church" by eating "communion wafers" (cookies) and saying "hey, man" a lot (that's actually what I thought "amen" was until my family started going to church).

Our church was about seven miles away from home and it was a good 15 minute drive, which seemed much longer when I was ten.  My Grammie also belonged to this church; that's how we wound up going there.  Many times she would pick us up and we'd carpool - I'm sure my mom loved it but my dad and the two of us girls?  Not so much (Mom and Grammie are like my mom and me - LOTS of talking).  :D

Much like this Mormon sticker suggests, tithing (giving
10% of your income) was strongly encouraged, if not
expected, in the church where I grew up.
Even then, I loved the paper items I'd see at church - the tithing envelopes; the gossamer-paged Bibles;  the membership forms we'd fill out (which were more like attendance records).  My sister Jen and I would write notes to each other on the envelopes when the adults weren't looking - if we got caught we'd get stern looks but we'd never get punished.  I think my dad understood because many a time he'd duck out halfway through the sermon and hang out in the church library or Fellowship Hall.  If it was football season he'd go out to the car and listen to the Packers pre-game show.  Sometimes we'd even leave early - if it was a Packers home game week my dad wanted to beat the horrendous traffic (I grew up a mile from Lambeau Field).

Notice the play on words - our church was in De Pere and
this is the newsletter!  Get it? "Press-DePerian and Presbyterian?
I always thought that was so clever.  :D

My whole family was very involved in church activities - my parents and Grammie all taught Bible classes; my mom and Grammie were deacons and my dad was an elder (stewardship roles); my mom and dad taught our 5th grade Sunday School class; Jen and I were in youth group - we grew up there.  When I was twenty, though, our pastor moved away and being a sophomore in college I had already dropped out of the whole church thing (when we turned 18 Dad let us opt out).  I have very fond memories of that church still.

I'm not a very organized religion-type of person - there are many policies with which I disagree.  I think I'm just too liberal in my thinking to ever attend church and I don't want to be viewed as a hypocrite.  Indeed, my live-and-let-live attitude would probably not bode well for me in church, especially with those who see life with no shades of gray.  I have done a few ATCs that could be considered religious but with no real "message", per se - read what you want into them!  :D

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