TotallyADD and I have been attending a small nondenominational community church. It happens to be the same church that I attended as a small child. As some of you may remember TotallyADD was raised in the organization so this was his first experience going to church. How small is the church? This morning there were about 30 people, last week there were 23, and the Sunday before there were 17. To my surprise two women introduced themselves as my babysitters from years ago, eg., before I was nine years old.
The pastor knows of our JW background. He borrowed and read Crisis of Conscience and In Search of Christian Freedom. He was shocked at the legalism of the Watchtower. Like most he thought JWs were a benign religion but on another path of Christianity. He is very liberal in his thinking and preaching. Last Sunday I spoke to him privately and explained that I was not a Christian and that I called myself an agnostic or secular humanist. He emphasized to me that I was welcome whether I was a believer or not.
There are only a handful of children who attend. What impressed us was how the children are involved and valued. This morning the children were invited to come up on the stage and do chalk drawings. The pastor's nine year old granddaughter drew a picture of the Twin Towers complete with airplanes flying into them. TotallyADD and I commented how this would never have happened in a kingdom hall. Even in this day and age children are expected to be seen and not heard.
On other Sundays the children are taken to another room during the regular service by the pastor's wife for a special "children's church".
Overall it has been a refreshing experience.