Confessions of an unrepentant church shopper.
By Jennifer Graham at NOR (some excerpts)
I am a ruthless church shopper, not because my family spends so much time in a sanctuary, but because we spend so little. I figure if we are going to spend only an hour or two each week in formal worship of the Almighty, it better be a quality hour, one with a challenging sermon, soaring music and no Game Boys in the next pew.
Fleece and denim prevailed, with Spandex close behind. Washing appeared to be optional; ironing discouraged. Men collecting the offering wore T-shirts from their latest 5Ks. Whole families went to Communion in blue jeans with ragged edges that dragged on marble floor. Altar servers wore cowboy boots and Crocs.
We kept going, even as a sixth of the congregation would arrive after the Creed and a quarter would leave after Communion. We kept going, even though no one seemed to know when to kneel or to sit; the lector would hurry to the microphone to say “please stand.” We kept going, even though no one ever welcomed us to the parish or acknowledged the checks we wrote each month. We kept going, even as people carried on conversations, not only in the allegedly quiet time before the service starts, but even while the Mass was under way. We kept going, as the altar server read the prayer book while the priest delivered his homily, as cell phones rang during the Eucharistic prayer, when a teenager in front of us checked a text message during the offering.
But then two kids in the next pew played Game Boys while waiting for Mass to start.
We stopped going.