Tuesday, June 10, 2014


    jpeg (234×128)    Last Sunday, I went to the Creekside Community Church in San Leandro. It was by Mr. P.'s invitation, and Teresa, Doris and Roberta from my Al Anon group (Doris and Roberta also being from my own church) were supposed to come too.
     I find it harder and harder relating to my church's ideas, agenda and attitudes. For a while I went to Sunday Services and other events to keep in touch with people whom I knew. I considered them my friends, just by virtue of them being in the same church and because they went through a lot of the same experiences as I there. Over the years, however, I came to realize that,                                                                    my community was not what it was supposed to be! First, I lost faith in the leaders, then - in the goals of the Unification Church. Then, one by one, people around me abandoned me, and I began to understand that I - and they - have been duped to think that, ours was a way to build a heavenly environment, but, in fact, the leadership was only concerned about money, and members (including myself) didn't       learn, didn't evolve in all the years we've been working in the church into better human beings, although we try to attract and teach others. I also felt that people in my congregation were cold and unwelcoming toward each other.

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Pastor of my church.

     So, I began to look for another church. I am capable of connecting with God through prayer and in my thoughts, but I like belonging to a community of believers. 
     Roberta and I were on time for Sunday Service. Mr. P. and Teresa with her daughter came soon. Doris never showed up. I was not surprised: she called me, and I said that I will pick her up, if she can be on time. She opted for going by herself. Perhaps, I should've been more concerned about my acquaintance than about being punctual? She is late a lot, that's her trait, but should I feel superior and alienate her because of it?
     I liked that the songs that we sang to the accompaniment of a small band were original and written by the lead singer. The pastor wore simple slacks and a polo shirt. He talked of success, as God sees it. I listened for a while, then drifted peacefully into a dreamworld. 
     Mr. P. nudged me, and I came to to hear things that I really was trying to find out about success and how to find it! 
     The congregation at Creekside looked very nice. They were people of different races and ages; many of them brought children. Some                                                           jpeg (300×168)welcomed me and Roberta, especially at the time allotted for it in the Service. But I sensed a coldness there. They would introduce themselves and shake my hand with a smile, but their eyes would then slide away uncomfortably, and none of them wanted to talk to me after the sermon finished. I gave it some time: I didn't leave right away or anything like that! I checked, if what I was feeling was true. No one came over to welcome us as visitors. Even Mr. P. busied himself talking to Teresa and her child. Roberta and I sat right behind his back, as he chatted with Teresa, but he never bothered to include us in a conversation. After a while, I got Roberta and brought her to the car. I had the same cold feeling at Creekside as in my own church! 
     I went to say goodbye to Mr. P. and Teresa then. Didn't want to be impolite. He asked me, if I saw the difference between that church and my own. I said: "No!" 
     "Well," - he said in a very pedantic tone - "God's spirit is here!" 
     "As I understand it" - was my reply - "God's spirit is everywhere!"
     As doubting as I am about my deeds and perceptions, I believe that I was not wrong in seeing the Creeekside for what it is: a fine place, if you already belong to it, but a cold shoulder, if you don't.

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