Thursday, March 12, 2009

Go To Church, Get Gas.

No, I am not talking about a church chili supper. A church in South Carolina, the ATC Life Changing Ministries in Irmo, is giving away gas cards to new visitors. They did not say how much the cards are worth. Church attendance is down and churches are trying anything to increase their membership. My friend Mike, who is a Baptist Preacher, has mentioned in his blog that some churches are looking inward for growth. They are encouraging their members to follow God's advice from Genesis 1:28 and "be fruitful and multiply." One pastor in Kansas challenged his congregation to have sex every day in February. Of course that was only for the married couples. Mike has had three entries on this. You can read part 1 here, part 2 here, and part 3 here.

I used to attend church but since my wife died I haven't gone much. Part of it is the way some churches make you feel. My wife and I were members of a church before her death, in fact we lived in the church parsonage. The pastor had bought a home and we rented the parsonage, which was next to the church. Even though we lived there, we never felt totally comfortable. A large part of the church was related and we felt like we didn't belong. 6 weeks before her death my wife had had knee surgery and wasn't able to get out. Only one person visited her. A couple of them did ask about her but it went no farther. For the week after her death I had food brought to me, but it quickly went back to where I was basically ignored. I went to church when I could, I worked every other weekend, but after six months I quit attending. I stayed in the parsonage for the next 3 years and only once did anyone inquire how I was and invited me to go back to church.

I am not saying that all churches are like this. I know there are many wonderful ones, but right now I am staying away. Part of it is my working third shift. I work every weekend. If I went to church there would be a possibility that I would nod off during the sermon. That wouldn't be good for anyone. I had a habit of doing that when my wife and I attended. She had a way of keeping me awake. I swore she had stiletto elbows and she kept sharpening them. At least that's what it felt like. I do wish the churches well. I hope the gas cards work, but part of me feels that with this publicity they will get a lot of visitors, but then they won't see them again. I hope I'm wrong.

This blog amazes me. I keep wanting to go in one direction and the blog has other ideas. I had planned by now to do individual entries on my post The New Eight Men Out. I still will be doing this but when other topics crop up I am going with them. I had decided on Monday today's post would have been about Ivan Rodriguez. Now it will be Saturday at the earliest. I am not complaining. I am enjoying doing this. I will be talking more about this tomorrow.
Travis was right. the number 75 has the 7 in the tens place.
Today's question is Grade 5/World History.

Charles Lindbergh flew the first solo nonstop transatlantic flight from New York to what city?

This was an easy one for me. 48-12.


Jeff Carter said...

Paris, France

Travis said...

Jeff, is right, it is Paris.

I too had problems staying awake when I went to church. Not from work, but from partying all weekend long. What I would do to stay awake was show up right before mass started, so there would be now open seating, and I would stand the whole time.

Dana said...

I had very similar experiences in churches - seemed they were all talk and no show. After a 25 year hiatus, I found one that worked for me.

Radiodad said...

I went through something like your experience after my divorce. I wonder if part of the reason for that was that people sometimes just don't know what to say or do in a situation like that. I'm "between churches" right now myself, but for reasons that are a bit different.