I started my search for a new church this morning. The kids and I have been going to Grand Avenue UMC for almost 3 years now, but my main reason for going there was that I loved the pastor. Her messages were always great and I learned a lot from her. However, the Methodist church has this lovely practice of moving pastors, so she left this last summer. We really haven't been going to church anywhere since then, but I knew we wouldn't be going back to Grand regularly. It's an older congregation and there aren't a lot of activities for children. I want to find a church that has a good Sunday School program, and possibly a Wednesday night activity so that Raegan can get involved when she gets older.
Today Raegan and I (Zane is at his mom's) went to Trinity UMC. I had been there for a wedding a couple years ago, so I knew it wasn't a HUGE church, but that it wasn't little tiny either. I've been to both ends of the spectrum, and I would like to find an in between. I looked Trinity up on the internet and saw that they had a contemporary service during Sunday School and that they had a nursery during all services if I should decide I wanted to go at a different time. I really liked that the nursery gives parents a pager so that if there are any major problems you can come back to the nursery. There were four women in the nursery (and 4 or 5 babies/toddlers) so the ratio was good, and a LOT of toys for Raegan to play with. She wasn't too nervous about me leaving, and they never had to page me. She seemed like she was really enjoying herself when I came to pick her up. I also like that this church starts Sunday School at age 2, so she won't be just in the nursery for years.
I also liked that the service I went to was short and sweet (a little less than an hour) and the music was wonderful. The sermon was about Exodus and it was pretty good, although I still miss Pastor Nancy. :( The only thing I didn't really like was that the 9:50 service is a much smaller service, so there were only 30 or so people in the sanctuary. The pastor asked for opinions on the scripture and the whole thing was a little more interactive than what I'm used to. I don't go to Sunday School because of all my social anxiety, so I'm not really wanting a church service like that. I will definitely get there a little earlier next week so that I'm not stuck at the front. lol
So it was a good first search. I think we may go again next week, then perhaps try one or two other churches on my list. I don't see anywhere that this church has midweek programs for children, so we may keep looking. One of the things I LOVED about the church Zane and I went to in Manhattan is that they had a wonderful midweek program for kids. Zane had a lot of fun and learned, and it was nice to have because he wasn't there to go to Sunday School every weekend. There's a church around the corner from us (hello, convenience!) that is very active and has a lot of kid's programming, so we may try that one out here soon.