We all have choices, even in religion
When I was young, my religious beliefs did not let me worship outside of my religion. I, being a Catholic, was taught that attending a church that was not Catholic was against our religion. After having children of my own and raising them in the Catholic religion, I stuck with my beliefs.
I did go to weddings and ceremonies that were held in a church of another religion. I never thought twice about it. Now, my grandparents were very strong against any other religion but Catholic.
I have a grand-daughter that was not attending church regularly. I began working for a Baptist church and brought her to meet the members. There were a few socials that my grandchildren and I attended at this church. This particular grandchild latched onto the teachings offered to her. She loved being a part of this small church. She is now heading toward becoming a missionary and perhaps someday a minister. I am very proud of her. Who knew that this is what she was looking for? The pastor and his wife took her under their wing. She has become a follower of Christ.
When I was interested in being a church secretary for this Baptist church; I was not sure if I would be hired because I was Catholic. One of the ladies told me that it does not matter to God what religion you belong to; we will all wind up in the same place. From that day on, I had found me an excellent place to have my part time job. Everyone I came in contact with treated me as if they had known me forever.
In a sense, this went against everything I had ever been taught. I even went to Catholic school. I felt that times have really changed. Now when I lived in South Carolina; I found there to be a barrier between Southern Baptists and Catholics. I was once told that Catholics drink too much. I did remark that maybe drinking in public was better than in the closet. I know that my remark was uncalled for. I was just trying to defend my religion. I do recall a picture I had in my kitchen forever of the Last Supper. There were glasses of wine at every setting on the table in the picture. There was also a large wine pitcher placed by the bread. I do not think of this as a Catholic picture. I like a small amount of wine occasionally. I believe drunkenness is against all religions.
What am I getting to? Actually, I have moved to Plano and attend the church of my daughter and her family. It is enormous! The name of the church is Prestonwood. I am in awe, when walking into the church. It has two balconies. If you are at too much of a distance to see the sancuary or altar, there are screens on the walls to get an upclose look. The choir is clothed in robes and placed in the back of the orchestra. Yes, a full blown orchestra. In front of the orchestra is a row of special singers. The special singers set you on fire. They are spectacular.
This is a Baptist church that I am now attending. My daughter did show me a Catholic church that is not too far from where they live. I like going to church with them. I made this choice. One thing I have always said is I would attend any church that had a good preacher or pastor. Well, this pastor is very good. He speaks in a language everyone can understand. He is very down to earth. I laugh deep inside at some of the comments he makes. He is funny and brings you in. I cannot wait to hear him speak. He does follow the writings of the Bible, as you follow with him. This is completely different from a Catholic Mass. A mass never changes. I have memorized the different parts of the mass.
I notice no statues or Jesus on the Cross in a Baptist church. There are many statues and normally a cross showing Jesus nailed to it in back of the altar in the Catholic church.
I have enjoyed attending the Plano Baptist Church, Prestonwood. I am not saying that I will never go back to the Catholic church. But, for now, I have God in my life and feel good about it. Wheather I go to this enormous Baptist church or to a smaller Catholic church; I have the choice. I feel that God is watching over me, no matter what religion I am a part of.
I do hope that there are others that feel the same way I do.
Fanny Morgan of Port Neches is once retired and now is a church secretary. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.