The other question discussed was "What is different about Emmaus". I did not answer completely because I didn't think of it till last night while laying awake from drinking caffeine like a naughty person. So......one thing that is definitely different and struck me right from the get go was the concept of being encouraged to do what I am given to do - my vocation as wife and mother. I have never experienced a church where it was not only ok to live within my vocation but also to be reminded that doing so is more than just a cute domestic idea. What a relief! I am not saying either that any previous church discouraged me from doing this but the issue of vocations never came up in those terms. Today I am only mildly involved with a fundraising committee and I don't find people chasing me down to figure out what I can do for this or that other committee. I suppose the other moms before we joined helped people figure out that just because they were at home moms did not mean that they had lots of time on their hands. I don't have an overriding sense of guilt about any committee really and I think that is partly because Emmaus is pretty much a humble little church and 'programming' is not their way of life. Catechizing people is the way of life there, realizing that no amount of cute gatherings will change anyone's desire to come and hear God's Word. So again.....phew.......I am not expected to produce some fantabulous program i.e. Sunday School, activities, VBS supervisor etc.......as someone I know likes to say......SWEET!
In short terms I really like;
Family Bible Class
Pastors who teach the Bible Classes
Fantastic, widely varied hymnody -
College students attending
Not having the most children
Kids all over the place
Great music in general
the children's choir
Being able to laugh a little over not meeting the budget and also not having that brought to our attention except in Voter's meetings.
Being happy that we are getting closer to meeting the budget without anyone constantly reminding us that we are not.
The Pastor picks the hymns
Not having classes for the kids divided by grade levels and the pastors teach them all
The kids being VERY involved as torch bearers, crucifers, acolytes, ushers and musicians.
The youth helping out at funerals.
The youth decorating the church at Christmas and Easter.
Hmmmm......I am sure I could think of more.
Weeks of Divine Services after Christmas and Easter.
No Lay Readers unless a pastor is gone on Sundays
High Church in general
Appreciation of the use of vestments
What I don't like:
The Pastors take vacation every once in a great while - ok, ok I guess even they could use a break.
Our family taking vacation as that means we won't be at Emmaus on Sunday.
Pastors going to Russia for nearly a month.
Having sick kids and missing a service.
Secrets kept from prospective members:
No air conditioning in the summer
Not a lot of talk about the budget.......