I DID SOMETHING Sunday night I haven't done in a few years.
I went to church.
Chuck Hetzler is the new pastor at First Union Congregational Church at 12th and Maine. I have a lot of history at First Union, most of it good. I got put on the executive board and spent eight years as either secretary or board president, and it was too much. That and a clash of ideas how to approach music in the church, along with some drastic life decisions, led to me leaving about six or seven years ago.
I honestly did not miss it, though I did miss some of the people. It had absolutely nothing to do with the pastor, or any kind of theological beef.
When Chuck got the job, I was intrigued. His mother, Clarice, is one of the good people around here. And Chuck struck me as a non-preachy kind of guy.
I am tired of being bashed over the head by religion. I struggle with proclaiming the Gospel vs. respecting other people's rights and beliefs. I can spot phony a mile away, and too much of religion today is phony.
So. I am starting over. I played guitar last night at Chuck's new contemporary service. It was a blast playing with the legendary Bruce Rice and the band. All I had to do was strum the guitar and enjoy a completely unstructured service. No offering, no designated prayer time, no sermon, just praise and worship.
Baby steps, Holmes.
I'll be back next week.