When I was a young kid (into my late teens), I belonged to a church community. From the ages of 10 until I was 20, I attended the same church.
A predominantly Latino American church, we had three services: 830am, Sunday school, 11am, and Spanish service at 2pm.
This is where I learned about Jesus, community, and how to play the drums.
Youth group was fun.
Music was rich.
People were caring.
I couldn’t wait to attend midweek and Sunday services. I loved everything about it. Most Sundays, we had a lunch break and the food was amazing. Or we’d go somewhere to eat and keep hanging out.
I made so many friendships, and mentors spoke into me. I’m a chaplain because of them.
One thing led to another and the church went through a horrible split. Friends left. Families were torn. What we had disappeared in the wind after some months. The next 6 years weren’t any better.
I haven’t been the same since then.
I’m grateful for the two communities we’ve been a part of. But it hasn’t been the same. It shouldn’t.
Sundays, I’d get up early, pray, and head to church where I’d be until late at night (choir practice). I looked forward to it all. Experiencing God and community. It was exciting and memorable.
Sundays have become something else for me. The magic of a Sunday morning is still there, but different.
I’m sad most Sundays. I drive 25 min to another city. I don’t get to sing in Spanish. I miss that.
The music isn’t the same. The musical community and mentoring… Gone.
I don’t get to hear the older women call me over in Spanish and offer me food or ask me how I’m doing.
I’m looking for something on a Sunday morning that had the same community and experiences I had, without the baggage that led to a split.
That split (and a subsequent church experience) hurt me to the core. I’m over it but not OVER it. I carry the memories of something I felt, but haven’t had in a while.
I’m not blaming or trying to say my current Community isn’t good. It’s not them, it’s me.
I know that.
There’s a part of me that wants what I had in the past. But I wouldn’t last in it. There’s a reason it split: good theology and leadership matter.
I have to do the work of finding and building community. That’s now on me. Nobody else.
I do hope that I’ll be able to be part of a community where I hear worship in Spanish and get to smell authentic Mexican cuisine.