‘Shopping’ for a new church

We are currently in the market for a new church.
The one we currently belong to, we feel, for lack of a better phrase – is old and worn out.
It’s not saying we don’t like our church – as in the building. But, the congregation is starting to drag us down.
We have had a couple instances with senior citizens who don’t seem to be very fond of children – specifically ours.
We have been given the “stern look.”
We have been “shuuussshhheeedd …” by an older lady.
We have received eye rolls.
And I have even been told, “MASS IS NOT OVER YET” and ignored by an usher when I had a question regarding cookies for the homeless shelter.
So, yes, we are basically not feelin’ the brotherly love from our church any more.
It’s time to move on.
So, today, we loaded up in our Traverse and traversed our way to a new community about 10 minutes away.
It wasn’t the first time we have been to this “new” church. And in fact, I know several families who attend Mass on a weekend basis. But today was the first time that I actually paid attention to every detail of the Mass.
The first 10 minutes went fine. The children were content. I knew the songs. It was going well.
But then two “late arrivals” were ushered into our row. That meant a mom and her three kids; plus my family of five; plus the two late arrivals were smooshed together in one row.
This did not make my 4-year-old opinionated and loud daughter happy.
She was busy displaying the books on the back of the pew and pretending to “play the piano” but she was forced to move.
And she let everyone around us know.
“DAD, they can NOT sit here!” – she declared.
I wanted to run and find a new family to claim as my own.
And she didn’t stop.
She was now the one giving the late arrivals the “stern look” and “eye roll.” And she huffed and puffed and folded her arms.
This went on for 5 minutes – and yes, we told her to “be quiet.”
It was all good for about 15 minutes, but then she started up again. Finally, I made her sit by me and the next thing we knew the late arrivals vanished.
I am kind of glad they left because I didn’t really have the guts to give them the sign of “peace” after the way my daughter behaved toward them. It was rather embarrassing.
At least she wasn’t the only child in the congregation making sounds; crying; moaning; and fussing today.
After all, it was the “family Mass,” and I guess that meant for one Sunday the children were allowed to be vocal.
Plus, I always have to remember Jesus said, “LET THE CHILDREN COME TO ME …”
But maybe he meant only the well-behaved children, not the ones causing chaos in the congregation.

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