Monday, June 08, 2015

We Bought a Farm: Attending Church in the Country

Yesterday, we accepted the invitation of Billy and his wife Gay and visited their church in Bulls Gap. It is one of the oldest churches in Tennessee. I believe the sign out front read that it was established in 1837 and rebuilt in 1867.

There were about a dozen people in attendance, and they were all in their 60's and 70's and probably even 80's. So many of their congregation had passed away and now, only these few faithfuls are left. Truly, I wanted to pick this to be our "forever church" just to bring six new, younger people into attendance and possibly help this church stick around for even longer, but being as there are no other children and no children's church, that is not likely.

Everyone was a neighbor. I recognized two sisters and one of their grown daughters sitting in one of the first pews. It was neat to be having church with people who were truly your community.

Either way, it was a very sweet service, and a very intimate time with people who are obviously very connected to each other. Our three olders did great sitting through the hour long service, and Hannah exhausted us, but we made it!

(It was especially a bit comical when Hannah got out of her seat, walked to the door of the church and started yelling, "Go! Go! Go!" right in the middle of the sermon.)

Billy and his wife Gay were there. Abigail has seemed to take to Billy already, drawing him a picture and bringing it over to him during announcements. She told us that "Billy looked a little different today." I think this had to do with how nicely he cleaned up for church.

We also met another set of neighbors: Clifford and Joyce who live about a mile from us down a road the kids have nicknamed "Roller Coaster Road" due to the serious stomach drops you get going over it. They seem like a delightful older couple as well that I hope we can get to know further.

After living in Germany, Turkey, and Portugal while overseas, I have become accustomed to experiencing new cultures and feeling like a whole different world has been in existence that you never knew about. When you are overseas, you expect these differences.

But when you experience one of these out-of-body-cultural-differences within the USA, especially within a state you have now lived in for a year, it is very eye-opening. You realize that these people are voting for the President just like you are. They live a very different life, but they are what make up the fabric of America just as much as the millions calling New York City their home.

Quite a good reminder.

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