Monday, March 06, 2006

Church Vs. Max

A friend of Lauren’s recommended a different church for us to try. So, on Sunday, Maxfield, Lauren and I headed over the 8:30 service to check it out. We arrived at 8:29 and were greeted by smiles and “Oh the kid is so cute” by the ushers and people in the seats around us. The people seemed nice. The first half hour of the service was music and song, briefly interrupted by an announcement or two about the church. At 9:00 all the children in the church left the service to attend Sunday school. Lauren and I, not knowing what was going on, kept Max with us and let him play on the floor beside us. He was being very good.

Pete the minister asked that everyone open their bible, (we didn’t bring one, because, well because it’s a church, you would think they would have some there. You don’t bring medicine to a hospital right?) and follow along in the chapter he was going to cover. Without the music to keep him entertained, Max started to get a little antsy. He proceeded to empty the diaper bag of all its contents onto the floor. He played quietly for a few minutes and then decided it would be okay to empty Lauren’s wallet onto the floor. Lauren, not wanting her credit cards and Gym Membership cards to make it to the collection plate, took the wallet away from Max. Of course he started to whine. Not loudly but enough to show us his displeasure.

I picked Max up so Lauren could put all of our stuff away. Max let out a scream. An usher approached us as I was trying to slip out of the row of seats, trying to make a quick exit. The usher whispered, “We have a daycare center you could take him to.”

I thanked the usher but said I would just go outside until Max calmed down. As we were leaving the church I heard Pete the minister say to the congregation. “I am Sorry. I just lost track of where I was. Usually when something like this happens I am pretty good about keeping on track but that really distracted me.”

I could feel the eyes of the whole congregation staring at us. I even saw some of the people give me, not dirty looks, but the hairy-eyeball of judgment looks. We exited through the back of the church and went outside to play. I didn’t even look back to see if Lauren was behind me, which she was not. She stayed through the rest of the service.

When it was over, she told me the minister was distracted by Maxfield, and it took him a minute to get back on track. We were both somewhat embarrassed by the whole thing. We made a beeline to our car and we boogied out of there. So far the score is Max 2 -Churches 0.

29 comments:

Tammy said...

Oh. No. That is so very embarrassing. Trust me, though. The only ones judging were the ones without kids. I hate those people.

Bradley Egel said...

William -

I don't think you should be embarrassed. You should feel sorry for the church and its congregants who clearly don't have their priorities straight.

Anyone who holds studying the bible above following the teachings in it...deserves to be interrupted.


Bradley
The Egel Nest

Circus Kelli said...

Wow... how *nice* of the minister to make such an announcement right in the middle of his sermon. Sheesh. I'm with Bradley Egel on this one...

TBG said...

Well considering he is 2 I am not suprised. I am 25 and cant sit still in church!

And Pete should have been able to stay on track. For goodness sake come on! He is a speaker he should be able to ignore noices in the audience!

Lori said...

This is only one reason why I am an atheist.

Sorry about your bad experience.

Anonymous said...

William,

I am with the rest of the folks, do none of these people have kids? Do they know what kids do? And how can the preacher not keep his mind together plus announce it to the whole congregation. That's in poor taste.

Teri

Sharpie said...

You need to find a church with a bit more understanding when it comes to children and their inability to sit still for the full hour.

And they wonder why attendance is down?!?

mrtl said...

hi william

mrtl said...

With apologies to God and all, but that minister is a jackass. Way to welcome someone to the congregation.

Mich said...

Wow - I'm shocked that a minister would have so little understanding of children. And to make that kind of announcement is just wrong. How about finding yourself a nice new church that is a bit more understanding? I wouldn't be one bit embarassed - I'd be just annoyed enough to not go back.

Cathryn M said...

Oh no! Sorry you felt that way. I agree with Tammy-the only ones annoyed were the ones without kids. Who have never babysat. Or been in anyway responsible for a child. At all. Ever.

Anyway, you didn't miss much. It wasn't the best service I've ever heard there.....

Michael said...

If you are going to go at all, stick to your roots!!!

You don't think MOM got dirty looks when she carted the nine of us into church.

I'm sure we confused a few "pastors" as well.

Susie said...

uh, mrtl, it's the minister who should apologize to God -- and all. I gotta get you something from my church, I'll email it later, William :)

Matthew 19:13-14

Anne Glamore said...

Wow-- our minister can talk over and through thousands of kids, which is good because we attend a fertile church.

Half the reason we like our church so much is because of the children's programs, so if they are not tolerant, maybe it's not the place to you.

(In fairness, maybe he was having an off day??)

LotionBarBunny said...

Wow, I think that minister was rude. You are a first time guest in his church and that is how he treats you? Awful! Gosh, while I am sometimes annoyed at the screaming kids when we have a nursery in the back, I always have to remind myself that the mom and dad need to be there just as much as I do and could probably use a friendly smile of understanding.

ieatcrayonz said...

They must have so many congregants that they don't need anymore, eh?

Rancito's dad is a pastor, and we drove down to see them this weekend and attend church. It's small, and the kids attend the entire service. Kids hoot and howl every once in awhile, and my father-in-law just laughs right along with them. It's the best church I've ever been to, partiality aside.

Anonymous said...

Don't let the bible hit you in the ass on the way out !!!

Amanda B. said...

William- your opinion is needed on VeryZen. *all points bulletin*

Stacie said...

Yikes! You need to find a church with a bunch of cheek pinchers (Old ladies) They'll give the pastor the whatfor, and keep Maxfield entertained. When my boys were little, we hardly saw them once we got in the door at church...they had dozens of "Grandma's" keeping them entertained. LOL Stacie

Max's Favorite Uncle said...

If that were me, I would have waited for Peter right there or I would have written to the church and dropped it off already. Tell that friend of yours, they didn't pick a very good church. You guys should just go to the art center every Sunday. Max would have more fun there anyway. At least you don't have the Catholic Church hunting you down for your life savings.

Kami said...

You're going straight to...

;)

deneen said...

As a church goer and a mother of 4-try keeping that under control-what the preacher did was just wrong. I will never recover from the time my child threw her sippy cup halfway across the church and the pastor saw fit to comment to the whole congregation about it.

No_Newz said...

Any church who makes you feel { that big, isn't worth attending. Seriously, kids makes noise. It's what they are good at.
Tell Max I am proud of him for kicking another church's butt. ;)
Lois Lane

Character Builder said...

I agree with everyone else...that was completely unnecessary for the pastor to comment on it. Even if he didn't mean for it to come out the way it did, it still put the spotlight on you guys and embarrassed you. Every once in a while if no one is in the nursery to watch the kids, (small church) we'll have to bring our 2-year-old with us. She makes noise and sometimes we want to crawl under the pew, but I've had people tell me that they love to hear little kids in church. That's part of what it should be all about!

Anonymous said...

First off, I have to say that Bible is capitalized. Or at least that's what my fourth grade teacher said each and every one of the four weeks I got it wrong on my spelling test. Made my dad way proud (Episcopalian priest). :) And yes, I was kidding and really could care less.

Second, any church that doesn't welcome children isn't much worth going to. We had a children's chapel in my dad's church growing up. The kids only came in for communion, but noone was ever rude if you kept them with you. That said, the Catholic churches I attend with my hub are awesome understanding a little noise. I kinda gotta laugh thinking about our priest getting lost if only ONE kid was making a bit of noise. He is always talking over several. Kids everywhere. As I think it should be... even if I do work in the nursery.

Anyhoo... I should know this passage by heart, but I don't. I do remember something about "Let the children come to me." That and something about faith being that of a child. In any case, God loves kids. Too bad some churches miss out on that fact.

Don't give up. You'll find a friendly one. Best bet is to ask other parents. :)

Liz

Anonymous said...

First off, I have to say that Bible is capitalized. Or at least that's what my fourth grade teacher said each and every one of the four weeks I got it wrong on my spelling test. Made my dad way proud (Episcopalian priest). :) And yes, I was kidding and really could care less.

Second, any church that doesn't welcome children isn't much worth going to. We had a children's chapel in my dad's church growing up. The kids only came in for communion, but noone was ever rude if you kept them with you. That said, the Catholic churches I attend with my hub are awesome understanding a little noise. I kinda gotta laugh thinking about our priest getting lost if only ONE kid was making a bit of noise. He is always talking over several. Kids everywhere. As I think it should be... even if I do work in the nursery.

Anyhoo... I should know this passage by heart, but I don't. I do remember something about "Let the children come to me." That and something about faith being that of a child. In any case, God loves kids. Too bad some churches miss out on that fact.

Don't give up. You'll find a friendly one. Best bet is to ask other parents. :)

Liz

momo9 said...

Sunday worship, service, mass, whatever it is...is a celebration of the Life of Jesus. It is a time of prayer, singing, and praise and giving thanks to our God. It is rejoicing! Max was singing out! Jesus loved it! Jesus was smiling as Max was expressing himself. A priest once told me," Church is God's house, God welcomes all to his house and wants all to enjoy themselves when they come. Children especially! If you were invited to a friends house, you wouldn't sit in silence. You would talk and laugh and enjoy each others comapny. That is how "church" should be. Let the children talk and laugh and cry...just as they would at a friends house. God is happy to have them and their parents come to his house and talk to him and enjoy the company of all who are their...remembering His Life and all He did for us. Celebrate in the house of the Lord" Jesus was not distracted by Max's visit. He enjoyed it! "I've got that Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy down in my heart, down in my heart to stay! And if the devil doesn't like it, he can sit on a tack....etc." That's what that preacher can do, Sit on a tack!!!!

LizzieDaisy said...

I loved that song when I was a kid. Thanks for the smile. :)

Shari said...

William, I just had to pop in and say I hope you keep looking. It's unbelievable how many churches out there are just so clueless. Others have mentioned it, I'll reiterate it, Jesus himself admonished his disciples for trying to keep the kids away. Our Pastor asks parents to stay, please, "I've got a microphone, and I'm not afraid to use it!" It's just his way of saying he doesn't care about any noise, and neither should anyone else. The important thing is that the children are hearing the word of God and so are you.

Oh, and I love your blog. ;-)