The Official Writing Challenge
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You show definite promise in this piece. You have a distinct ability with description. However, I'd like to see a little more dimension with the characters so that we truly care about them, individually, and not just as a bunch of people who need to find a church home. Flesh out some personalities. You also show ability in your use of natural dialog. For the most part, it feels like everyday conversation. You do need to proofread a little more carefully: at least twice you misspelled Andrea's name. I hope you know that you have the building blocks of becoming a very good writer! Keep it up!
I enjoyed your story. It certainly showed bigger is not always better. The smaller church had a more homely and welcoming atmosphere. I like the way you brought that out.
Very nice story with a cute title. I enjoyed reading this and it was a good reminder that the biggest isn't always the best. Nice job
Maryolyn, I am probably going to go a little against the flow of the other commenters (we're all different - that's what makes writing such an adventure) and say that I actually felt the characters were developed well enough through the dialogue. I certainly got the point, and the "ouch" of the message. Can't help hoping (even though it's fictional) that the last little church didn't lose that relational touch when they started to grow (which often happens). Good message.

Using shopping for churches for the topic was VERY good. A clever and different angle. Well done.

Although I felt I got to know the characters through the dialogue, there is one thing that may help you when writing dialogue in future. Try to always remember to use contractions when writing modern conversation. If you were writing formal speech, that would be different, but when average families are talking to one another they don't tend to say things like "It is," or "I have not," etc. They would say "It's," or "I haven't," etc. It's a good idea to always read your dialogue out aloud, to see if it sounds like you would say it in natural conversation. If you come across something that seems a little stilted for an everyday conversation, then it may just need a contraction.

Again, thanks for that "ouch" message. A very good reminder.

With love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator and Editor, FaithWriters' Magazine)