Monday, November 14, 2011

Church Anniversaries

As a little girl I remember running through the halls of our church. I remember endless choir and handbell rehearsals. I remember walking down to my parents' Sunday School room as my mother waited there for me playing the piano. I sipped my first sip of coffee there and quickly spit it out. So many birthday parties in the Family Life Center. Thank God my parents had me at church at every opportunity growing up. First Baptist Church turned 125 years old this Sunday. Ironically I attended a 75th anniversary at Lakeside Baptist in Dallas watching my youth minister from First Baptist growing up as he preached and sat next to one of my churchmates from First Baptist growing up.

It is so interesting to dive into the history of a church. It is interesting to see how they grow and change. Growing up I remember really only one pastor. He retired at some point and we had a hard time finding another one to really stick around. I can tell so many stories of Vacation Bible School, youth basketball, Wednesday night dinners, my friends and I running up and down the halls, peering into the HUGE auditorium when it was so dark just to see what it was like when it wasn't Sunday morning...

Looking back I see how important church is in little one's lives. I never thought anything else of Sunday morning. When I got to high school I think I missed more often just because I was insanely busy and needed an excuse to sleep in! I've told my story about trying to find a church home in different cities so I'll skip that. Sometimes I just get plain lazy and don't attend and others I just need a break and a day to do nothing. I'll admit it. I am so thankful that as a family we went as often as possible and grew with the church.

Nick and I attended the 75th anniversary as I said of a church we barely know, but we enjoyed it. We met one lady who had been a member for over 40 years; she looked to be about 80 and lived in Canton and had come in especially for it. Churches change so much over the years. I remember when we had some contemporary musicians come in high school to the church the older group went insane. They shunned it. Sometimes choir singing bores me, but other times when I know the song I enjoy it. I really enjoy the instruments now paired with the songs we know. So I guess I am sort of in between traditional and conservative. I don't get all bogged down in that like some people. These days society sometimes doesn't think it's cool unless you go to a megachurch and it's as big as Joel Osteen. Why the heck would you go to a small Baptist church? I don't really care as long as the person is happy where they are!

I guess it all boils down to faith. I attended the First United Methodist Youth Group because most of my friends did and I loved it so much. One time we did the trust exercise where everyone holds out their arms and you fall blindly back hoping they will catch you. For me, the most untrusting girl in the world, I was scared to death. I actually did it and they caught me. Yep, so no matter which church whether one year, 75 years, 125 years as long as God is catching us we keep on growing, changing and loving.

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