We've been in Houston now for three years. Since that's longer than I live most places, I should be able to say I have friends here. But I don't. There's no one here who would miss me if I were gone. Part of that is because we don't have a church home.
I grew up Church of Christ. Along with many other denominations, thirty-forty years ago, they were sure they were the only ones going to heaven. Along with many others, they're starting to get over that.
They still have their peculiarities.
They believe that salvation happens at the point of baptism. Before, you aren't saved.
They believe, or at least practice, singing, non-instrumental. They use a microphone and a pitch pipe, but that's it. Some individual congregations are known for their incredible four part harmony. Some are known for their off-key country twangs that slow to a dirge by the end of each verse.
They are congregationalist, which means that there is no governing association, not one, of any kind. Each individual congregation is responsible for and to itself. Sometimes churches around fuss at one or something, but there's nothing they can do. It's inherently part of being Church of Christ. There are some things which are cross-congregational, but they aren't supported by anything. There are several colleges, including Pepperdine in Malibu. There are several retirement communities, like Village Homes in Austin and Abilene.
It's been seven years since I've been to a church of Christ for anything other than a one time visit. Like with my in-laws or my folks. But I went to one this morning. With the possibility of going there regularly. It felt really strange.
They sang “old songs”. But not the old ones, like hymns. Rather, they sang the ones I learned new as a little girl or a teenager. I don't mind singing without instruments. It means you can hear the voices better. I like that. Plus, cofCers actually pay attention to the melody and the harmony. Most churches don't know there's anything except a melody.
The sermon was well thought out and interesting. I appreciated it.
The class was Bible based. That is one of the strong points of the c of C. They are known as “people of the Book”. I have a good strong background in Bible study that many people in their eighties, who've been in or led Bible studies all their lives, don't have, because I grew up in the C of C and with parents who thought it was important. I agreed.
I didn't love the church. But I didn't hate it either. It was just a church. They probably won't know the songs I love, because they're only ten years old or so. I probably won't cry during a song because they won't sing, “These are the days of Elijah.” Or any others that tear at my heart for new adult memories.
It's not really my decision that matters, though. It's my boys' decision. We went to an Assembly of God, a non-denominational, a Baptist, and a Vineyard in the last three years. But we haven't found anywhere my husband and I love enough to work around the boys. So, we've been looking for somewhere they feel comfortable. I think it may be at the C of C, because the three kids they know best here go there.
It'll be interesting.