Yesterday I had a crap day. There was weeping. There were phone calls. There was yelling. There were e-mails. Here is the blow by blow...
Since D and I moved we have been looking for a new church home. BTW? The Great Church Search '09? It stinks. D and I have had many a discussion that we need to decide on a church because I need to have social interaction!!! Part of who I am is my beliefs and the people I surround myself with need to be supportive of my beliefs or at least respect them. Shortly after we moved to NC I decided that I had learned my lesson in MN and was going to take the Jennifer approach and get involved, gaining opportunities to meet new people and making friends. We found a church only a few weeks after our arrival in NC and I was awestruck at how these lovely church people would bend over backwards to love on me and my family. They were the sweetest bunch of people I had ever met. You know the kind...selfless, generous, loving...I felt instantly at home and thought that this was the church for us.
These NC church people embodied the love of Christ and my beliefs and "religion." I don't believe that religion is anything but the awesome love, creation and gifts of God. I believe in the Bible and believe every word is true.
I digress. So back to yesterday. We have gone to a church (let's call it Church X) twice in the last few weeks and last Sunday were very impressed by their special music, a rocking solo of "Eleanor Rigby" by I swear, a teen that sounded just like PM himself.
So I look in Church X's bulletin and see they have a Women's Bible Study on Tuesday mornings at 9:30 am. I have a job interview/fingerprinting thingy for the local public school system at 9:00, but I think I'll be able to make it. So here I am, walking into Church X bright eyed, bushy-tailed holding my trusty Bible and I ask where the study is. Here is what happened as described by me in my e-mail to the Pastor of the church...
The gentleman escorting me announced my arrival and left me to speak to the two women setting the room up. The two ladies informed me that this was their last study and it was a "going away" party. They went on to say that they would appreciate it if I did not stay since it was to be a special event. At first I did not think I heard them correctly. Then, one of the ladies informed me that after 14 years of teaching the class she was moving away and had brought some of her things to share with the class and said that she would not share with me. She reiterated that she would appreciate it if I did not stay as this was a special day for her.
To be frank with you, I was crushed. I went out to my van and left crying. I have lived in OH since April 3rd, know a handful of people and was looking forward to making new friends and speaking to other adults during the day while my family is off at school and work. When I informed my husband of the morning's events, he noted that the reception I received was exactly the opposite of my welcome at our NC church.
So there it is. An event publicized in the church bulletin (indicating to me that it was open for everyone to attend) and I was not allowed to stay. In fact, I was asked to leave.
I came home. I e-mailed the Pastor telling him that I wanted to be removed from any contact list and my family and I would not be attending again. When I was talking to my sister-in-law later in the morning she was mad!!! I told her what happened, cried again, and she apologized for not doing more with me since we've moved here, to which I replied, I don't expect you to come over and hold my hand everyday. My S-I-L has been awesome and is always bailing me out over the phone when I am lost, has my kids over to play, makes us food, etc. She rocks, so for her to say she has failed was silly. Anywho, my S-I-L's parents go to Church X. So as soon as she got off the phone with me she called her Mom and told her what happened which I knew she would do. Ooooo, are those people going to be in trouble!
The Pastor replied to my e-mail in a political way and apologized. I was like, whatever, take me off your contact list.
Then...my S-I-L calls me sometime later and tells me that she called up the Pastor to give him a piece of her mind and had to leave a voice mail, and asked if I was mad at her. I said no, and laughed calling her my protector.
A few hours later the Pastor calls me. In a nut shell he starts out the conversation telling me that I remind him of Jaime Lee Curtis to which I wanted to ask him how many women with short hair he knew...but I held my tongue. I gave him the courtesy of silence because I thought he'd talk himself into idiots-ville. He apologized again. I was silent. He asked if he could set me up with some people in the church who were nice, I replied that I did not want special treatment and did not need help making friends. Pastor X went on to say a bunch of stupid stuff and asked if he could call again to which I replied no, I knew how to contact him or the church if I desired to do so. I then told Pastor X that I prayed that the woman who turned me away this morning would have a different reception than I did when she moved and found her new church home and that regardless of what event I was hosting at church I would include everyone who showed up in a welcoming and loving manner.
When I told my S-I-L about Pastor X's call, last night on our outing to Sam's Club, she admitted that she had called him again and spoke to him suggesting that he NOT call. She had told him that I was not emotional (little does she know) and had told him off.
All this drama being recorded...no I am not going to become a hermit. I will try again. Somewhere else. I still believe that church and God are loving and all inclusive.