Where do you do church?

How should a church look?

These seem to be two very controversial questions lately. Especially after COVID, where we have all been confined to our homes, apartments, (or wherever we might have the fortune or misfortune to find ourselves)…spiritual practice rules are up for debate.

Do I have to attend church “in person”?

I believe most churches had a “closed-door” policy during the peak of Covid. At the church where I am a member, services were put on the radio and we could listen to them that way. Then communion was delivered personally by a type of drive-in approach. You would drive up to the church, get in a car line,  and would receive communion personally through your car window from church officials wearing PPE.

Now that most of us have gotten used to not attending church services (in person) it seems kind of nice. Here is my new realization…I don’t want to attend church in a building anymore!

This self-realization has been building for a long time.

When I was between ten and thirteen years old, my family would travel to the other side of the state to attend an outdoor, sunrise, Easter service. We went with my grandparents. It was held on a large hill in the country, with a huge cross lit up by little white lights. With rolling grassy hills in the distance, there was a sermon, prayers, and lots and lots of singing. My grandma would sing every hymn loudly in her strong, off-pitch, and warbly soprano. I tried not to mind. There were no walls, but I knew God was definitely with us and could hear us.

But what about fellowship?

Some people feel that it is important to attend church in a structured situation as this builds a community of believers through the practice of fellowship. Fellowship can be defined as “the sharing together in a common life with other believers through a relationship with God through Jesus Christ”.

Well, it has been my experience, that fellowship is not at the top of most people’s minds. Whether before church or after church, people tend to mingle with their close friends and extended family. Sometimes newcomers are welcomed and returning visitors are greeted, but not much “fellowship” happens. The only relationships that are built or developed are with people within your usual circle of friends and family.

I guess, what I’m really trying to say is that I feel God’s presence most strongly when I am surrounded by nature. I am able to find and communicate with my higher power when by myself and outside.

You don’t need to attend church in a building but you can pray and/or meditate anywhere…and God will hear you. This could be under a tree, by a lake, or in the garden.

So then, how do I do church? Well, I can reflect and pray anywhere. Worship and gratitude aren’t place-dependent.

I just won’t be doing any singing out there,

as I walk,

down the street,

with God…

Who Is Sandy
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