Today we’re waking up in Corpus Christi, TX to a beautiful sunrise over the gulf of Mexico. We packed a lot into our day yesterday, and the wife and kids are still sleeping now at 7:34 am.
Our visit to Northwest Hills UMC in San Antonio was a interesting experience. I always love going to church on vacation for several reasons. First, it reminds me of what it’s like for our visitors. When I, as a UM pastor, feel that nervous what-should-I-expect feeling in my stomach, it reminds me of the kind of nerve a visitor has to work up to visit our churches. Every member of our congregations should attend church on vacation to have a deeper connection with first time visitors. Second, it allows me to worship in a different way than when I’m leading worship. John, over at Come to the Waters, had a good post about this a few days ago. Third, it helps me to see what other churches are doing.
People at Northwest Hills were very friendly. I counted at least three personal contacts from folks as we came into worship. The music was contemporary, and even though I’m not the biggest contemporary guy, I was zapped back to my youth minister days and really connected with God in a special way through this time of worship. The service started at 11:15 and after children’s choir, welcome, announcements, and worship, around 12 the pastor was just beginning the pastoral prayer.
Now, as Paul Harvey says…for the rest of the story. We had taken our 1 year old to the nursery after about ten minutes of fussing and wiggling in the pew. Fifteen minutes later our buzzer went off. He hadn’t stopped crying, so we went to get him, and my wife took him to the cry room in spite of my protest that I should do it since it was Mother’s Day. More crying and sobbing. Just as the pastoral prayer was starting at noon, I looked to the back and saw my wife giving me the “we’re leaving so come on” look.
Everyone was very kind and supportive. The church was extremely child friendly, but our little guy has had too many overpowering new experiences in the short time of our vacation, and he just couldn’t take one more separation from mommy and daddy. So, at the time we’re used to getting out of the service, we headed on down here to Corpus!
All in all, we had a very positive experience with the Church. I wish the little guy would’ve cooperated so we could have heard the sermon, but hey, sometimes that happens.
We’re off to the beach again today even though it’s covered, and I mean covered, with seaweed!