Since mid-February, we have been attending a church in our neighborhood, Grace United Methodist. It is a six block walk from our house, straight down the lovely boulevard.
Back in February, Kristin had indicated her desire/plan for our family to find a church home. I thought this was stupid, because I did not want to go to church. I am a longtime agnostic leaning towards a bit of faith, with a strong dislike of most religious practices and a strong affinity for the rational (though it's worth noting that I find the "new atheists" to be as appalling in their jackassery as most religious zealots are). It would be fair to say that I've leaned slightly more towards the direction of faith since Malcolm was born, also.
But, as many of us are aware, Happy Wife=Happy Life.
So as a compromise to steer us far away from the evils of Roman Catholicism, I suggested that we audition some churches in the neighborhood, to see how it went.
Our first and last stop in that audition process turned out to be Grace.
Much of this is because our pastor, Mark, is welcoming without being aggressively welcoming. He is friendly for the sake of friendship, not for the sake of salesmanship. This goes a long way.
The congregation is tiny (maybe 40 on a good Sunday), but friendly, and easy to talk to. There are kids and young parents. It's welcoming.
His first sermon was serendipitously relevant to both Kristin and I at the time. That first service (and every one since then) begins with a strong statement of reconciliation from Mark, stressing the radical inclusiveness of our church.
So we've just kept going since that first Sunday in February. In March we had Mark and his wife over for dinner, and it felt just like having two new friends over to hang out.
Last week Mark and I went out for beers, and had a solid three hour conversation/debate about things like nonviolence/self-defense, the role of our church in the community, and other things of that nature.
In his sermon last Sunday, he even shared (without naming me) some of my thoughts on fatherhood and how it changes one's perspective, and tied it into his sermon. I appreciated it.
So that's the newest thing we've been up to.
Lots of Malcolm pictures are available here: