i swear it’s always communion week when i visit a church.

Sorry I made you wait so long, Dad.  I haven’t had the writing spirit lately.  I don’t like this post.  It’s not up to par.

There are two churches near the next MARTA station up, and I decided I want to try them both out.  This week I chose to go to First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta.  The service begins at ten so I left my room at 9:45 knowing the train ride will only take two minutes max.  I didn’t consider that the trains don’t run quite as often on the weekend so as I got down to the tracks, I noticed the next train didn’t get there until 10:03.  I had briefly looked at a map the night before, and I remembered that the church was near 16th and Peachtree.  It was about 9:52, and I decided I could walk the 7 blocks and get there faster than the train.  It was a nice walk, but some of those blocks were deceptively long. I walked in at 10:06 and was surprised to discover the service didn’t actually start until 10:15!

The sanctuary was beautiful, very detailed and ornate.  I wore a nice summery dress, and it felt underdone.  As I tabbed through the bulletin, I could not believe I had yet again ended up at a church for their communion service.  I started having flashbacks to that weird church we went to in California, and desperately hoped there wouldn’t be a puppet show.  The service began with the choir singing from behind us in the balcony.  I could tell by the looks on people’s faces that this was not a normal occurrence.  Three reverends were used throughout the service in addition to the man giving the message.

It came time for the children’s story, done by the female reverend.  In honor of Pentecost, she was talking about how it was the church’s birthday.  She brought out gift bags and told the children that the gifts were for them and asked them to open them.  As I suspected, there were no real gifts.  This one kid shouts, “It’s empty!” and I’m thinking, why would you do that to small children?  I guess she had cards in there with peace, love, patience… written on them.  Next in the service was a time called Concerns of the Church.  One of the Revs is up doing I guess what is similar to our Praise and Prayer Concerns but there is no congregational vocal input.  Instead, they have these things called Ministry of Friendship pads that each row passes around.  I didn’t realize there was one on every row and that it should have been my job to go grab it, so too bad for the three other people in my row, no friendship pad for them!  The scripture covered was Acts 2:1-13.  Now since this was about people hearing in their own language, four people read in unison.  One in English, one in Spanish, one in I want to say Polish, and one in some African language.  That it made it very confusing.  When it was time for the message, my attention was caught as he opened with a story about a church that had burned down in Pittsburgh long ago.  When the pastor was interviewed, he talked of how it was sad that the sanctuary was gone, but the church was not lost because the church was in the people. This translated into a message of going forth and whatnot.  The message only lasted 15 minutes, and what killed me was his ending line.  “It only takes a spark to get a fire going.” (Cue laughter from Asbury Math Dept.)

I decided to walk back to the apartment instead of finding the train station since I didn’t know where it was, and since I had seen a Starbucks and I really wanted an iced green tea.  This area of Midtown is really pretty; it’s the artsy neighborhood.  Starbucks was in the Colony Square shopping center.  I walked around the back where there is outdoor seating and looked at the map of inside.  I got really excited when I saw there was a Blimpie, and really bummed when I found out everything inside is only open during business hours.  But I got my tea, and the guy behind the counter told me he really liked my dress; it was beautiful.  Flirting, yes, but also just stating a fact.  It’s a great dress.

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