Hymns and old people and tradition

I grew up going to non-denominational churches. While there were great things about those churches, I think I missed out on tradition. The only time I sang hymns was at Grandma and Grandpa’s church. I relish singing them now, at the Baptist church we attend, because it reminds me of Grandma’s high voice and Grandpa’s bass as I would stand in the pew with them.

Praise to the Lord! the Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation!

We sang that last week, and that’s one I especially remember, so it’s been in my head this past week.

This morning I was reminded of another thing I like about our church. It’s small. Some people prefer big churches, but I like the fact that honor roll and winning science fair projects and soccer championships and articles in the Wall Street Journal are put in the bulletin and announced from the pulpit. I like the fact that so many people from the church called me after my dad had a heart attack. It reminds me that we’re a family, and that we experience things together. As a kid, it would have meant so much to me if the church was proud of my name on the honor roll or my brother’s science fair project.

This morning was All Saint’s Sunday, and our church always honors a senior member who has served in some way. Last year it was a woman who had been a Sunday School teacher for 35 years. This year it was a man who had been a member since 1941. In non-denominational churches, the churches are newer, and even if we had older members, there’s just not that kind of legacy. I feel like we miss out by not having older people to be an example.

My church isn’t perfect, not by any means. But there are so many good things about it. Sunday mornings make me feel like I have people to support me, people who are also doing the best they can on this journey. I don’t know what else I could ask for.

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