Disclaimer: This post will be about comparing churches, but not on the basis of faith or religion.
Last Easter Sunday, since we were in San Diego on vacation, we heard mass at a church we'd never been to. The mass hadn't started and our family was already seated in one of the pews. Isabella and her 9-year-old aunt were sifting through the hymnbook and singing some songs. It was an inspiring moment so I flipped out my phone to take a photo. While I tried to take a shot, my 14-year-old cousin, who sometimes serves as a sacristan there, leaped over 5 of our relatives to stop me from taking the photo and tell me to keep my phone in my bag.
Turns out, the church we were in was very conservative and gadgets were, I guess, not allowed.
It made me appreciate how progressive our church at home is. In our church, it is common for us to use our smartphones or tablets to access the bible. Even some pastors use a tablet to guide them as they preach the Lord's message.
I've also seen photos on FB and Instagram of churchgoers singing praises that I imagine could inspire others to trade their lazy Sunday of social-networking for an hour with God in church.
I also realized that day in that San Diego church that I am grateful for the Crying Room in our church at home. It's a sound-proof room off to the side of our worship hall. A huge transparent window separates the worship hall and the Crying Room. This way, parents with babies can go to Sunday Service without distracting other churchgoers in case their baby starts to cry. The seats aren't arranged in a rigid row so strollers can come in. Parents can feel free to stand up and soothe their crying baby since they are amid parents like them. While everyone on the other side of the glass (including me!) can worship God in literal peace.
I also appreciate that our "misalettes" include an outline of the "sermon". Sometimes there are blanks you need to fill in, while listening to the Pastor. Other times, there are big spaces within the outline to take down notes. This works very well for me because I need to do something with my hands to focus. So taking down notes, helps me listen more intently to the Lord's message.
I guess churches really vary and the important thing is to find the one that's best suited for you. I am grateful for that day in that San Diego church. Had it not been for that experience, I would have gone on taking my church at home for granted. I never would have realized that I was blessed enough to have already found the perfect church for me!
Photo from dirtroaddiva.