Offering an Offering

Trip Start Aug 07, 2009
Trip End Dec 31, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Maryland
Monday, December 7, 2009

We went to church yesterday at a tiny little chapel church less than a mile from our hotel.  We were touched by the friendliness of the congregate members.  Two things in particular stuck out enough for me to write about.  Michael was pleased with the "turn around and say hi to your neighbor" time.  It's in almost every church we attend, but this was different.  See, most times, you do the clockwise shuffle, shaking the hand of those in each of your 4 cardinal directions.  While this is a nice idea, it only accomplishes saying hi to those with whom you share a pew week after week.  It stifles any opportunity for conversation as you only have enough time for 4 "hello"s and maybe a "welcome to church!"  However, this church allowed a substantial amount of time for greeting.  Everyone seemed to move from their seat and make an effort to greet everyone there.  We were recognized as visitors and warmly welcomed by several people - not just those sitting close enough to feel obligated to acknowlegde us.  We even had a lengthy conversation with one woman about her family and the weather.  It seemed to us that this church truly values relationship... it's almost... Christian of them.  :)

The second thing worth mentioning was a young girl sitting in front of me.  She realized we were visitors and took an interest.  During the tithes and offerings time, she looked back at me and saw I had nothing prepared to give.  (note - we tithe to charities since we can't be active members in a church right now)  This girl looked at me and down to her hands wich held two one-dollar bills.  She looked back at me and smiled.  Then she handed me one of her precious offerings.  "It's to put in the plate" she wispered.  When the plate passed and I did as she had instructed, she beemed and giggled.  Now you may analyze this and pick apart the theological implications or whatever.  But she was, like, eight - and no doubt motivated by a giving heart.  I thought it was sweet.  And it made me think - to what extent do those of us who attend church make an effort to include those who don't?
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