You may ask yourself, “Well, how did I get here?” –Talking Heads
So this is the last assignment for my Imagine group. Describe your faith journey as an adult, age 27+. I will break this post into at least two segments.
Well the thing that had the biggest impact on my faith at age 27 was getting married. When I started dating and later married my wife Jenn, I resolved to follow the grin and bear it approach to faith practice. I had been attending church semi-regularly before we started dating, but when things got serious I knew that faith was going to be a central theme in my married life. I did not enjoy church in any way, shape or form. But I did have a somewhat flimsy faith in God.
When we got married, my wife and I started attending a Baptist church near our apartment. It was another mega church, so the quality of the service was high and I could practice my faith in near anonymity.
Halfway through that first year, I got news that my job was being moved from San Jose, CA to Herndon, VA. That was a huge deal. We were moving away from all family and all friends. It was a blank slate.
The Sunday after our arrival, we started church shopping. Oh my, it was painful. When you are in a new environment, you do what you know. We knew AG, Baptist and non-denominational. Every week was a new freak show. Either the people were dancing in the aisles or they were saying things like, “no good church music has been written since the 1950s.” That last one really won over my wife, the musician.
We were really struggling to find a church that we did not hate, little lone one we liked. Then there was an interesting twist of fate. One of my coworkers who knew I was a Christian asked to go to church with Jenn and me. At first I freaked out because she was very liberal and all of the churches we had visited were right wing bible thumpers. I had no clue where to take her.
It is important to know, that after moving, I was constantly getting lost. I found a route to work and I did not stray from my path. Well, on the way to work every day, I passed a picturesque little Methodist church, Floris UMC. One day on the way to work, I thought…hmmm, Methodist, that should be mostly harmless. I’ll take my coworker there.
We checked out the churches website and found that they had a Saturday evening “contemporary service.” We took my friend. Contemporary it turns out meant 1970s Maranatha choruses sang to the organ. The music was truly awful. But the pastor sermon was passable. It wasn’t a fantastic service, but it did not hit any of my “red alert” triggers.
My coworker hated it. She swiftly converted to Buddhism (where she remains happy to this day).
Jenn and I on the other hand did not have a visceral reaction and decided to try out the traditional service. So the next Sunday, we came back. We were easily the youngest people in the service by at least a decade. The music was traditional hymns and the service was semi-liturgical. We absolutely LOVED IT!
More to come…