We're in the market, Tiago and I. One of my New Year's resolution, among many, was to find a church. Where I didn't fall asleep because the sermon wandered off into the desert for forty days and forty nights before coming up for air. Where people were challenged to be honest and open with one another and not a place where we close our eyes and turn our heads when confronted with the ugly things in ours, or our neighbor's, lives. So I'm still "frequenting" the Manguinhos church, but am actively searching for somewhere else.
So far, we've kind of struck out. 0 for 0. January isn't a good month to go looking. All the pastors are on vacation. I haven't understood a single sermon in the last three weeks, and I've been to at least five services!
Tiago's requirements include:
A) order in the service (he's not such a fan of little kids and adults having full conversations in normal voice levels during the sermon)
B) one bus or metro ride from where we both live
C) a functioning and not cheesy young adult group, which we can mine for friends and social activities
D) a pastor who preaches simply, clearly, and a service that stays under the 3 hour mark
Mine run over two pages in my journal but can be summed up here:
A) Diversity in racial, social class, and age groups
B) Doesn't badmouth Catholicism. Or anyone else, for that matter.
C) Won't force me to: "convert," be re-baptized, swear off cards, chocolate, high heels, or pants
D) God/Jesus/Holy Spirit is the focus, not miracles/financial prosperity/blessings. I'm tired of seeing people flock to these places that fleece them of their cash in exchange for promises of complete freedom from headaches, rebellious children, deficient love life, marital problems, unemployment, etc...all if you have enough faith. And put your money where your faith is. It's a sweet scam scheme.
Oh. And I'd love it if it had good music. Is it too much to ask for violins, organ, piano, an occasional saxophone...in addition to a rock band???