Like visiting different families on the same holiday.
Now that many churches are putting their services online due to the pandemic, I had the opportunity to virtually attend two services in one day. I’m a Unitarian Universalist, so naturally I chose two churches of that denomination.
I won’t name the congregations in question here. And I’m not attempting to proselytize. That goes against everything I believe. You should choose your own spiritual path.
But I will say that it was really interesting to compare and contrast the two services. They each had basic elements in common, but the vibe was totally different. One was more organized, more tech-savvy, and I got the impression that the members are perhaps more professionally successful and much more formal. The second group was very laid back and relaxed. They were more casual, and their topic was a bit less mainstream than the first one. They joked around more. The service didn’t run quite as smoothly, but it was fun.
Both congregations were warm and welcoming. Both services were comforting during these isolating times. But it was rather like visiting two different families on the same holiday. They each had different dynamics, a different history, different bonds, and different ways of coping. After all, churches are made up of the people who attend them and the people who lead them, so no two are exactly alike.
If you’re feeling isolated and in need of fellowship in these highly stressful times, I suggest that you reach out, online, to whatever group, be it religious or secular, that you feel fits best with your personality and values. You’ll be surprised how helpful that can be.
Stay safe everyone!