7/24/13

Pause for Prayer: THURSDAY 7/25

St. Mary's in Danvers, the church I grew up in...

On FaceBook I subscribe to a page titled: 

             You Know You Grew Up in Danvers If...  

The home-town memories stirred and shared on this page are wonderful and not a few old friends have reconnected through its posts.  

So I was wondering if a similar exercise might not be helpful for our spiritual memories...

You Know You Grew Up in a Church If...
• somewhere in a drawer or closet 
      there's a box containing your Christening gown...
• you remember the place where you first sang Silent Night 
      or played a shepherd or a king in the Christmas pageant...
• your memory of your First Communion, 
      finds you in a white dress or suit...
• you remember grabbing a bulletin at the church door
      (your "proof of prayer") and then hightailing it with your friends 
         to anywhere else...
• you went to your grandfather's funeral and for the first time ever -
      you thought about death...

You know you grew up in a church if...
• in high school you decided 
      you were definitely way too cool for going to church...
• in college you announced you were an atheist,
      or at best, an agnostic...
• you got married in a church
      and felt a little bit uncomfortable about that...
• you didn't get married in a church
      - and still feel a little bit uncomfortable about that...
• sometimes you're not sure just what you believe...

You know you grew up in a church if...
• there are moments when you wish you had the faith you had
      at that pageant or your First Communion...
• Jesus' story is still in your mind and heart...
• you recall some songs sung only in church... 
• you've never forgotten The Lord's Prayer...
• you remember when Sunday was a day unlike others...
• you sometimes miss that hour a week
      when you once found peace and quiet and prayer...

You know you grew up in a church if...
• you think there might be something missing in your life
     but have trouble saying that it might be faith... or the church...
• when times of crisis come your way you want to pray
      but you're not sure if God still listens to you
         but you hope (and pray) he does...
• you're angry at the church for its sins and failures
       and you want to go back but can't find the way or the trust...
• you think you don't really ever sin
      but then you remember "Well, there were those times..."
• some things in your heart long to be forgiven,
      some places in your heart need to be healed...

You know you grew up in a church if...
• you have children of your own now and want to raise them 
     with strong values, morals and standards 
         and you wonder if church, if faith, might be the way...
• you're not sure how to pray and you wonder
      if praying with others at church would help...
• you think about God and faith and the church,
      and wonder what your friends think, deep inside, 
         about God and faith and the church...

You know you grew up in a church if...
• you go to a baptism, a first communion, a confirmation
      a wedding or a funeral -- and it feels like coming home...
• you drive by a church and find yourself thinking,
      "Well, maybe this Sunday..." 
• you read a post like this online and you pause, 
      and you remember and you pray...

I'm praying that some good memories are stirring in your heart
   and that any difficult memories stirred up will be healed...

I'm hoping you'll share these thoughts with others
   and share this post with family and friends...

And most of all I pray that "pausing for prayer" today
   might help you draw closer to God
      and to the faith and the church you grew up in...
     



   
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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this! Have already forwarded it to all of my kids...hopefully it will trigger something positive in their hearts...

michelle said...

this was helpful- thank you-

but, also a bit, well, confusing and...
sad.

I remembered the "church I grew up in"- St. Paul's Parish in Glastonbury, CT-
and then I remembered that it was ONE of the churches I grew up in...

there was another parish in our town- St. Dunstan's- that was closer to our neighborhood, (pretty much IN our neighborhood- St. Paul's was in the center of town)
and sometimes, mostly on Saturday evenings, because of time, we would go there-

I think I remember St. Dunstan's more- but not because I LIKED it more, maybe just because I went there more- ?

but, I was confirmed at St. Paul's- I do remember that day-

with mixed emotions-

but, overall, I am very thankful for that day- and for all that led me to where I am TODAY-

thank you-