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Sunday, November 12, 2006

Visiting a different church

As part of a school project for Lincoln, on Saturday I attended my first Mass at a Roman Catholic Church. We, Jackie and I, visited Holy Cross Church here in Batavia, just down the street from Fox Valley.

It was an interesting experience. In fact, I am currently working on a paper about my experience that I will post here once I finish it this week. That will give you more detail.

But one thing that jumped out at me was the way that we were (not) greeted when we walked in. It gave me a new perspective on new folks who visit our student ministry. When we walked in, we had no idea where to go, where to sit, where the bathrooms were, what was going to happen or anything.

In fact, when we walked in, I did everything I could to try to draw attention to myself. We were visiting as part of this class and so in that visit, I was supposed to meet with a staff member. I had contacted their student minister and had set up the opportunity, but I wanted to meet him before the Mass. But I had no idea where his office was, or where any of the offices were. So I attempted to look as obviously lost as I possibly could to draw attention to myself. I looked around. I stopped in unusual places. I looked at the brochures that were near the entrance. I did everything I could think of.

Finally, I had to approach one of the greeters near the door and ask. Both of them seemed stunned that someone didn't know where to go.

The thought that I had to myself was this: "No matter how hard we think we are trying to make our church friendly to new visiters, we probably aren't doing enough." Especially in the area of student ministry. We need to go out of our way and bend over backwards to try to make people feel at home.

Just a thought...
More on this coming this week after I finish the paper.

JC

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