Sunday, June 08, 2008
Church Family
Each Sunday we get spiffed up, hustle the kids into the car, and we head to church for 9 AM mass.  

Some mornings the kids are well behaved, other days, like today, not so much.  At one point I had both little girls in my arms crying as I carried them to the cry room.  

Over the past three years, we've interacted with some supportive parishioners that make a point to stop and say good morning to us and the kids after mass.  Apparently we're a visible family now, in part because we added two little girls to our family within three months and since we sit about 4 rows back from the front people noticed and asked questions.

I must admit that beyond going to mass each week, we're not as involved in the church community as I'd like to be.  I used to be quite involved with teaching CCD, attending bible studies, and singing in the church choir.  Now, it's all I can do to keep three small children 3 and under somewhat quiet during mass.  I miss my involvement in the church but I just don't have the time to do something about it yet.  I tell myself that fostering is my ministry at the moment.  The rest will come later.

This morning, something beautiful happened.  

One of the families that we've talked to in passing in the past came to chat with us after mass.  This family (Carl, Patricia, and their three children that I think are about 8-12 years old) knows that we're fostering and have mentioned that they've considered fostering as well but haven't quite made the commitment yet.  They've asked us a few questions in past conversations.  

This morning Carl, Patricia, and their children came with a purpose.  After exchanging casual conversation and holding and cooing over Baby Bug, they invited us to have a meal with them at their house next weekend!  They want to get to know us better.

I wasn't expecting this invitation and I was really touched that they extended it.  I would like to get to know more of my fellow parishioners but I didn't even think to invite anyone over for lunch or dinner!  It's such a simple concept but in the hustle of keeping tabs on three active children each Sunday morning, my brain is a little fried.

We happily accepted the invitation and made plans to meet at their house for lunch next Saturday.  I can't wait to get better aquatinted with this kind family!

I'm curious, how well connected are you with your church family?  Do you interact much outside of service?  If so, how?

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3:18 PM

At 4:02 PM, Anonymous chelle said...

I wish we were more connected, but it is hard to reach out sometimes.

How wonderful that you will be going to dinner!

At 5:29 PM, Anonymous Kelsey said...

Thats wonderful! We are pretty close to our church family since we have been members for about 6 years now but in the beginning it took us awhile.

At 5:38 PM, Blogger Tami said...

It took us a couple of years to get involved, but now we are. I do quite a bit with the women's group, preschool treasurer, bible study, etc. My husband just finished a 3 year stint on the church council. We also participate in other events the church does, potlucks and other family events.

This week alone, I will be at church things at least 3 nights.

At 6:06 PM, Blogger ~TAMY 3 Sides of Crazy~ said...

I'm so happy for you. You hit the nail on the head, your service is in your fostering. Sometimes trying to do too much backfires so just focusing on what you do best is good. And now our focus is helping to spread the word with the new friendship. You truly are blessed.

At 6:06 PM, Blogger Read Teach Sew said...

How wonderful! That's a lovely situation- they were probably delighted that you accepted, and you were delighted that they asked.

At 6:25 PM, Blogger Kellie said...

It has taken almost 7 years for us to feel like we have a church family at our church. The church is soo big, almost 4,000 on one weekend of services. But we started to get involved in small groups and then in some service stations and we now feel like we are home here.

My love is to serve, but GOD keeps rememinding me that I am serving by raising my little ones. HE continues to find ways for us to connect and serve while we are " up our children in the way they should go."

It is hard for me when I feel like I can't help were there is a need because I am watching the kids but even now HE says, "Look at those beauties and see that what you are doing is worth it."

Connecting with a family on a relaxed basis is great and an awesome way to begin to connect. Also their kids sound like they may be old enough to babysit for you soon.

Have fun and GOD bless.

At 6:52 PM, Blogger Milk Mama said...

I love that you said it was beautiful. It really is! :)
I'm glad they invited you to dinner! What a great extension of relationship and love! I hope you get to know them better!

Happy Sunday! God bless you and yours!

At 7:20 PM, Blogger Bree said...

My church is very large and it is very difficult to feel like part of a church family. I can't say its the church's fault by any means because I chose this type of church (large). I have been fortunate to start with small groups which developed into another more intimate group of women. We still don't do anything outside of church life but it will come with time, I'm sure. Congratulations on having the strength and courage to foster! God Bless.

At 5:59 AM, Blogger Sarah said...

We are pretty connected with our church family. We have a lay ministry and we are all asked to serve in the church. So we are able to get to know each other pretty well.

Being connected outside of church is hard though. I think I do the dinner thing more than anything. Also play dates are fun and allow you to meet people in the same boat you are in. It's a great support system. Also, I think we can learn from those who are older. By reaching out we draw people in and then we are all there to help and support each other through good and bad times.

At 6:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are very connected with other families, but I no longer "serve" the church, that time has temporarily passed with the birth of Avery and my continued pregnancies, the time will come around again but now we are in active.

We have gotten to know many families in the church through serving in the past as well as through Claire, we can go just about anywhere and people know her and introduce themselves to us.

It is always nice to meet new families because it is important to have accountability and support when you need it.

God has a great way of putting families together doesn't he? He is usuing your family for a purpose with this other family, maybe your two families can be richly blessed through this lunch!

At 6:48 PM, Blogger Nicole said...

What a neat story! We used to not be connected at all. We'd show up and stay through the service and then leave, not talking to anyone. Since having kids, we've become much more involved and I'm so happy that we are. Not only have we made so many new friends (us and the kids), but we feel like we're more a part of a community now. And one that loved God as much as us... The support of that type of community is amazing and should be experienced by everyone.

At 7:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to be more connected to the women in the church when I had time to go to more women's events, like a church book group. I still try to go occasionally, but I can't be a regular attendee like before I had children. One of the ladies I knew from book group, though, has a daughter two months younger than mine, so we keep in touch and are having a play date (is it for them, or is it for moms? hmm) this weekend.

At 8:00 AM, Blogger Michelle B. said...

We are members of a nice size church, concedered small on todays scale of mega churchs but anyway. Our church family is a secondary family for us, We have fellowship lunch almost every Sunday after church and it is very nice. Everyone in the church that has children are homeschoolers so the ladies and children have gotten together at times we have been to a museum here and our syphony has a school program where we have been. Recently the paster and several of the younger men have been playing soccer with some of the preteen/teenage boys on Sat. We may not get to see them alot during the week but we are very close to them and they our family.

At 1:22 PM, Blogger Sandy said...

I am blessed to live in a small town with a strong parish. A lot of our parishioners eat at the same places, shop at the same stores, etc.

One thing I did, when I needed an attorney was to check the yellow pages for attorneys and then check our parish registry to see who belonged to our Church. He is a terrific lawyer.

So if you patronize the businesses owned or managed by your Church family and let them know that's why, it will all start to flow.

In the meantime, enjoy your supper with your new friends!

At 11:14 AM, Blogger Kathleen Marie said...

That is so awesome! How wonderful! We actually interact a lot with a few because we have hired them to work at the camp ☺ Others I am getting to know a bit better but like you we don't interact much outside church and work. I have told my hubby I would like to have people over for supper and such but during the summer that is not possible really. I think this is something I need to work on more in the fall. I am head of the women's ministry and hubby use to be a deacon but since the camp keeps him so busy our focus is more here than the church itself.


At 11:15 AM, Anonymous Paige said...

Our church family is our second family. In the LDS church, areas are divided into "wards", and where we are, that's a few neighborhoods. So, my church family is made up of neighbors, and they are amazing. If you need help, they are there.

We also have groups for teens, with activities once a week, activities for women once a month or so, and activities for younger kids.

I don't know what I would do without my ward family. They are such a support to our family and I truly love them.

We try to invite new people over for dinner. We average about once a month, but the kids would like it to be more often. We love to get to know people outside of just church activities, and dinner is a great way to do it.

I'm glad you got a dinner invitation, and I hope you can get to know more people from your church.


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