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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Church (12/06/07)

TITLE: A Church Home
By nicole wian


“Do you guys go to church?” asked Jen. She was new to town and to playgroup. She'd been invited to the weekly gathering of mothers by her neighbor, Kelly, and was so excited to be meeting other moms with kids the same age as hers. The children were playing upstairs in one of the bedrooms and five women were gathered in Kelly's cozy living room drinking coffee and eating delicious poppyseed muffins that Kelly had made earlier. Jen was really missing her hometown and all the friend's she'd left behind. But these women seemed to have a lot in common with her, and she already found they shared similar parenting styles which was important to her. Three of the women nodded. Hailey answered first, “Oh, my church is awesome! If you're looking for one, you should definitely try mine. The worship is amazing and our preacher is so on fire for the Lord.” “What kind is it?” asked Jen. “It's a non-denominational.” Hailey answered. “Oh, well we used to go the the Lutheran church back in Houston. I tried the Lutheran one here, but it seemed sort-of dry.” “That's how I feel about all those types of churches.” piped in Kelly. “I don't like all the tradition. It just seems so bland to me. I don't get anything out of it.” “Me either” added Hailey. “I like modern music, not those dull hymns and that reciting the same thing week after week.” She and Kelly laughed, sharing their dislike. Jen winced a little, feeling embarrassed though she didn't know why. “Well, I just meant that the preaching could have been a little more convicting but I actually like the hymns and the readings. It feels more interactive to me and actually a little more reverent” As she said the last part her voice grew quieter. “I don't think my church isn't reverent.” said Haily, feeling defensive. “No, that's not what I meant.”

This conversation was getting just the merest bit touchy. Maybe that's why they warn against discussing politics and religion, thought Carrie who had been keeping quiet. She wasn't a church goer and this was exactly why. Everybody seemed to think their church had the monopoly on faith.

Soon, the talk shifted to something safer, back to the children. But each woman went home wondering what it was about the church topic that had caused them to feel on edge, why the subject was sticking with them. All week Carrie, especially, thought about the conversation. The following Monday she had to say something. They were all seated, talking about the school year which was about to start, sharing where the best deals for school supplies were. Carrie waited for the right moment and when there was a break in conversation said, “You know, I was thinking about it all last week and I don't really get what the deal was with you guy's and your churches. Isn't church church? Isn't it where you go to worship and learn about God and don't you all believe in the same God? You're all Christians right?” No one said anything right away. They all nodded sheepishly and finally Haily said. “Yeah, you're right. Jen, I'm sorry I said those things about the Lutheran Church.” “That's okay. And I would try yours, it's just I like a certain style.” “No, I understand. I'm that way too. But really, Carrie's right. God comes to where we are, it doesn't matter what denomination we choose.” “And really, The Church isn't about the building,” Kelly added. “The Church is the body of Christ. His followers. And that's all of us. We shouldn't get caught up on the type of church we go to. We should be focusing on where our hearts our and on our relationship with Christ.”

Carrie felt relieved to be hearing her friends admit this. It gave her a better feeling about the whole church thing. She didn't add anything more to their conversation but she found she felt more open to giving Church a try. A few weeks later, she went to the local Baptist Church with her husband. And she liked it and she found that God was there as well, waiting to welcome her into the body, The Church.

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This article has been read 429 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lee Ann Rubsam12/13/07
A thoughtful message with a good intro, concise train of thought throughout, and a satisfying conclusion. I would suggest dividing it into more paragraphs, each paragraph having one central thought.
Yvonne Blake 12/15/07
This is a good story, showing the confusion of many. If you break your paragraphs between each speaker and change of thought, it is easier to read.
Jan Ackerson 12/16/07
You made some very good points here, and disguised them as a story! Good job.

I echo the suggestions above, and would add a suggestion to work on adding little sensory details so that your story is more "showing" and less "telling."

I like the fact that the women's consciousness was prickled by their first conversation.
Karen Wilber12/16/07
Ditto on breaking it up into paragraphs. Each new speaker needs her own paragraph so that the flow of conversation is easier to follow. Good message. Very realistic scenario - I think I've been in this conversation. ;-) Keep writing.
Joanne Sher 12/21/07
Congratulations, Nicole, on placing 15th in your level. Great job!