Living in the small town made my mother aware of something missing in her children’s lives—religion. She began looking around and settled on the Southern Baptist as a church meeting her short list of requirements. It must be within walking distance of the place we were living.
My sister Lindy and I walked over there one Sunday and thus began an adventure in religion that truly has made us the people we are today. Within a matter of years, we were Southern Baptist, Unitarian, and Methodist. The denomination didn’t matter as long as we could walk to the services and as long as the church allowed unaccompanied minors to attend Sunday School and church.
Lindy and I attended the AWANA club which was a youth group at one of the Baptist churches we attended. One evening they asked who wanted to be saved. I raised my hand and was taken to a special room where I recited some Bible verses and asked Jesus to be my Lord.
Afterwards they asked Lindy if she wanted to be saved and she replied:
No, I ‘m just here for the cookies.
We still laugh about the woman who sang “Rock of Ages” in a trembly voice, and we both remember the minister who pointed at the entire congregation (including two little girls) and announced, “You are going straight to Hell!”
Today we attend the Catholic and Episcopal churches respectively. Although we appreciated the many adults who made us welcome in our in our assorted new houses of worship, I think we find the ritual in our churches very comforting, and we like being able to fit in and not feel far from normal.