My "sabbatical year" is half over and where am I? I'm still confused.
I know that I want to be teaching ESL. But as a part of what mission? Does the mission exist? Do I have to initiate the mission? As part of what community?
I am very far from community. There are two churches that I am attracted to. But there are turn-offs. Their web-pages illustrate my problem.
The church where I am currently a member has had a racially and culturally diverse congregation. Our youth group has been a rainbow of attributes - something that has been a sign to me of Christ's body. But now it presents stock graphics on its homepage of pretty people that I don't know. On its "about" page it is stated that "Of the four Southern Baptist Churches in town, Immanuel has remained the most traditional in its administration, ministries and worship format." That may explain why so many of our deacons were formerly members of other Baptist churches. As a trained musician, I really like having the notes to look at in a traditional hymnal. But is "traditional" a Christian attribute? It seems to me the "traditions" practiced at Immanuel are less than 150 years old.
Another church that I'm attracted to claims to be
This is a group that offers small groups (a big plus for me), solid theology, and I've had the blessing of knowing the two missionaries who are working in Guatemala. But is "casual" a Christian attribute? I happen to be a rather casual person, but I don't think I get that from the Holy Spirit.
I'd prefer to see a church advertise itself in more Biblical terms. Joy-filled and personal are good, and then there's patient ... kind...
I haven't been progressing well in finding community. I don't long for community. I'm an INTJ and my disposition isn't chummy. But so much of what I read about personal growth in recovery and in spiritual disciplines tells me that community is important. I say I'm looking for community, but I've been avoiding church altogether. I'm not practicing community at all. And I won't find it if I don't practice.
Big sigh. more later.