I called the church yesterday and officially signed Mark and myself up as parishioners. It was something I'd been meaning to do since we moved in but just hadn't gotten to. It's the first thing we've done to cement ourselves into the community. It feels good.
We've been going to the church for months now - it's right around the corner, literally. We couldn't get any closer.
And the fact that it's nestled into our neighborhood makes it feel very intimate and homey. They collect food for the food bank continuously and did a angel tree for Christmas. They have pancake breakfasts and pie sales; bingo and basket raffles. It's exactly what you'd picture a small-town church to be.
It's also the first thing that's making me start thinking in terms of the current house. Up until this point, when I think of things, I'm still picturing the apartment. (Like, when I need to run for groceries, I still picture the old grocery store in my head. When I think of "the mall", I think of the one by the apartment - not the one 5 minutes away.) Now, when I think of church, I think of walking the two blocks over.
I can't wait to grow with this church. I'm excited to get to know the other members and am hopeful that some day I'll be able to name most of them as I sit in the pews - just like I could when I was growing up. And, it's fun to imagine walking over with our whole family someday to have our future kids baptized or receive first communion.
For the first time since the move, I can really picture our future here. And I like it.