Friday, July 24, 2015

Moving Reflections: Finding a Church

Thirty years ago I was a member of a Huntsville church for part of the 15 months I lived here. I have a wonderful church family in Florida, but needed a church to worship with locally here while maintaining my Florida church ties. My plan had been to visit different churches in the Huntsville area and to take my time finding a church here while maintaining contact with my Florida church through social media including listening to my pastor's podcasts of his sermons. After all I am working on a counseling dissertation on dementia caregiving at the seminary connected with my Florida church.

The first time I lived in Huntsville I got married at age 40 and it wasn't long before in 1985 we moved to North Miami, Florida, where we were very active in a church. My first husband's funeral some eight years later was in that North Miami church and his daughter would buy our home in 2000 when I moved to the Plant City area to marry a certain Mr. Johnson whom I also had the sad task of burying last summer as I recorded on this blog.

My dad and I in
a certain church corridor
I would return to. 
Some thirty years have now gone by and I started my church search with that church I had been a member of with my first husband. My first Sunday there was Father's Day, June 21, 2015. After the senior Sunday School class,  I came to a corridor where I had been with my late father, ready for him to walk me down the aisle. I got teary-eyed. He had been 70 and I was 40. He was such an OLD 70--refusing at first to get on the plane to come to Alabama from California to see his only daughter finally get married. That Sunday I was still 70! I do not feel as old as my father seemed at 70 in 1985. I learned a lesson from his being a widower--get on with your life and do not get stuck in grief as Dad had.

I enjoy corporate worship and instruction through preaching and again felt at home with this church. Worship could not include visiting every church in Huntsville, I reasoned--scrap that plan.  Sunday, June 21, 2015, I knew that this would again be my Huntsville church family. The second Sunday, June 28th, I went with the seniors to a play in Guntersville on the church van in the afternoon. In July I volunteered for Vacation Bible School and met many younger women, youth and children.  In October I am starting a book study during the week at this church. 

When you move to a new state you have to get new automobile plates, new driver's license (took three days in three cities), new car insurance (half of what it was in Florida), new doctor, new bank, and the list goes on. But at least I have a church family locally.