Coming home to a new church


Well, one of the changes we had to make when moved to our new town is finding a new church.

Initially, we thought this process would be tough and we would not find a church that would meet our needs as well be too cliquish in such a small town.

First, we went to one local church and discovered it was crowded as we packed in like sardines; however, only a few people said hi to us – the greeter and the person(s) sitting next to us.  I tried to reach out and say hi first yet even then we felt snubbed so it was just sit back and enjoy the service.  The pastor did come and visit us which was nice yet it was interesting that he taught a message about loving people and his congregation was too cliquish to welcome new people.  Worse, it was barely wheelchair friendly…

The next Sunday we attended a larger church and were immediately greeted by an older woman who made us feel warm and welcome as if we had come home.  As we sat, waiting for the service to begin, other people came up and greeted us.

I felt at especially since it was the same type of church I had grown up in – Assembly of God!

Interestingly, when we lived in our old town, we both decided that the AG was not for us yet we did not have many choices in this new town except Baptist, Catholic, and Lutheran.  Dene grew up Lutheran but I never felt comfortable in one and we were not into Baptist church nor was catholic church for us even though we know some great Catholics and Baptists.

This AG church had its usually speaking in tongues, older women dancing and swaying to the worship, and a young couple who I found myself chatting with as we shook hands during the greeting time.  I even found an Evangel – an AG magazine that I loved to read as a kid.   Definitely at home!

The next week, we attended again with my in-laws and again, we were warmly greeted.  We found ourselves wanting to get involved and that week I had the pleasure of attending a women’s kick off event where a woman shared about being attacked and yet she was still alive and praising God.  Reminded me that even though I had been attacked by two different people as a kid, I am still alive and God continues to use me as I yearn to eventually reach out to other women who have been attacked and/or abused.

Another event was attending the women’s bible study on Girls with Swords about women overcoming being oppressed and standing up by using God’s word to overcome adversity and the attacks the “enemy” will throw at women.  A great study and I highly recommend it.

Finally, we attended a prayer session where two great women prayed over my husband for healing.  We left feeling at peace and ready for the healing.

Tonight, we went back to the bible study and even had dinner of stew and dessert with other believers for just a dollar. a person.  Can’t beat that!

Yes, we did find a new home town and we found a “family” in a church of believers who believe in loving people and Jesus.  I cannot wait to become more involved through more fellowship, worshiping God, and praying together.

So, how do you greet new people or even those who have been coming for some time at church?  Do you snub them or do you warmly greet them?  I used to greet people and found that service to be a great service to those who need to be warmly welcomed to church; after all, how you greet people makes a world of difference so go out and warmly welcome everyone to your church just like Jesus would.

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We can walk to church…


Well, the doors have been opening up for us as we prepare to move to Medical Lake. Today, we signed the lease and did all the other paperwork. So we are almost set to move two weeks from today…quite the journey.

We’ve spent the last two days exploring and getting to know the ‘hood. There are a ton of camping grounds and we counted at least 4 – that’s right – 4 lakes within a few miles of our apartment. One is less than a mile.

We have a gazillion parks including one that is just steps from our back door plus a high school football field practically in our backyard. Yep, Friday nights will get interesting around our place this fall…

The people are friendly here and we discovered we’ll have to do something we have not done in like forever – actually going to the local post office (which is walking distance) to pick up our mail…as we reserved our box, we have a friendly chat with the postal worker and met a friendly woman who welcomed us to town.

This is a beautiful town and its quiet. Traffic is practically nil including taking I-90 into Spokane during “rush” hour. What a big difference between here and the Seattle-Everett area. “Rush hour” traffic is like mid morning traffic in Everett on I-5. People say they rarely get stuck in traffic – so true! Unfortunately, there are a few drivers even around here who will test your patience…sigh…guess they are everywhere.

Another cool thing is that I needed a measuring tape (thought I left it at the hotel only to discover it was in the car). I found the local hardware and walked in to see a cat sitting on the counter. Yep, a very friendly kitty cat who lives there. Again, met friendly people like the guy who helped me select a measuring tape out of a gazillion choices.

Our next adventure was locating a washer/dryer for our new apartment. Our new landlord recommended a place. So, we went over and found a great washer and dryer and again, friendly people at the place. He was playing great Christian music (we have a great Christian radio station here) and I asked if he knew of any churches. He knew of one but it’s too far to travel…think we’ll stick to the churches in our new town. We can walk to them and become involved. Yeah!

I can go on and on about our exploration including the friendly and warm yard sales where people believe in selling the stuff and not making big bucks. Unfortunately, we were not able to find what we needed but we will be back. Or, how I almost got stuck in a carwash (do not like self service ones) but it was a laugh…even Dene’s doc has found medical resources for us. So, things are looking up as we prepare for this journey.

Finally, the welcome mat in Medical Lake reminds me of the following verse from Matthew 10:40 (NIV):

Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me,
and anyone who welcomes me
welcomes the one who sent me.

So, what doors are opening up for you as you prepare for your own journey? Are you finding people who welcome you to their community? I pray so and please feel free to comment.