This weekend, I took my kids to a new church. Same domination: Episcopalian. I’m not very religious, but my kids like church and believe in God, and I decided to try out a church that might have kids. We went on sort of a crazy day, because the church was starting a discussion on gay marriage. But we sat down and had breakfast, I dropped the kids at Sunday school, and we listened as the reverend spoke about Acts and the Jerusalem Council. Then we went to the church service. We enjoyed ourselves, and I think we’ll go back.
I’m not here to get into a religious or political discussion or even to discuss my opinion on gay marriage I’ll put it out there though: I’m for it. Everyone deserves to be with someone they love. Attending this church this weekend made me nostalgic for my own childhood.
My mom dutifully took us to church as kids. A lot of times my sisters were acolytes. I stood in the front with the choir. I earned my gold cross. I wore white dresses and dress-hats that stuck into your head and made you itch, and stockings with white seemingly unbendable shoes. Everything seemed to be white! And I couldn’t wait to get home and strip out of those dress clothes, often in the hallway before I’d even made it upstairs to my room.
We often attended breakfast at church, the smell of bacon beckoning me. I’d eat and my friends would trickle in, and then we’d run in the halls, go see the babies in the nursery, and finally make it to the sanctuary where I usually scribbled on paper and held my mom’s hand. I hated the way the wine tasted, and me and some of my other childhood friends would run after communion to get a sip of water and rinse out our mouths.
I spent nights outside with EYC, getting into trouble. I did lock-ins and trips to the beach. I established friends and memories that will never fade, in the sinking Alabama sun, as I discovered myself, learned about the history of religion, and began to establish my own religious code of ethics.
These are the memories I want for my children. Memories of inclusion. Memories of fun and fellowship.
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