Thursday, December 4, 2008

My First Methodist Christmas

(I googled First United Methodist Church Bedford, Texas, looking for a picture of my church. This came up in images as the first United Methodist Church in Texas. I don't know if it's true, but wouldn't that be cool??)

Last night was Wednesday - a typical church night. I don't usually go to church on Wednesday night but the kids go to youth. Last night the church was having a "decorating" fellowship type thing so I thought it would be a good time to go. I prefer casual and the more casual the better. I wore my nice sweat pants. That's how casual I like it.

The Methodist have a lot more traditions that I have really be exposed to. Sunday was Advent Sunday and it was the lighting of the first Advent candle in the wreath. This will happen every Sunday until Christmas Sunday (I think). I think the first Wedensday of December is something like "Hanging of the Greens" or something. Well, apparently it's usually a lot more formal than it was last night, but I think ours was probably much more fun.

It started at 6:30 and for me to get home from work, get Jonathan and get up there, even though it's just down the street, it's almost impossible to make it by 6:30. We weren't too late, though. There was a ton of food so I didn't put out the dip I brought and I was glad I didn't stress about making the cake I wanted to bring. Michael and Ben were already at the church (Alyssa goes to the Baptist church down the street) and Jonathan had food, so he was happy. It was a nice, relaxing atmosphere for sure. They had different people and groups up on the stage singing various Christmas solo's, duets, or whatever, some nice, some - well, they were trying. The older people in the church - the ones who have been there forever - were hanging up the garland all over the balcony and putting up the Christmas trees. I think there were four all together.

I sat with Carrie who was just about the first person I met at the church. She is 40, single and coordinates the singles group. There was a lady sitting behind me alone. I am not that social and I feel bad now because I should have turned around. She eventually asked me if there was going to be a formal service or was this it. I told her this was it, that we had stickers for the groups but that was all I knew. A little later, Carrie and I were talking and the lady asked me about the age groups of the church. I included Carrie this time (she wasn't sitting with me before) and this lead to a great discussion, which lead me to this blog.

This lady and her husband had just moved from a small town in Oklahoma about two months ago. She had visited the church twice. She is a true Methodist in that she has been visiting the Methodist churches in the area. They have three children, a daughter and two sons, and a grandson. The daughter is 26 and going through a divorce. Apparently, in Oklahoma, you can't get as fast of a divorce as you can in Texas. She said it will be another year to year and a half before she is done and will be able to move here to Texas to be closer to her parents. I just can't imagine being her age and having to go through something like that alone.

Anyway, the night turned out great. The kids seemed to have a good time and the church looks beautiful inside. I love this time of year. I love that it's cold outside. I just love it!
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