As I wrote this last night, we had just put the boys down for bed after returning from our second church service of the day. We went to Sanctuary this morning and were challenged by Pastor Efrem to find our Kingdom assignment in this world. We then had a nice picnic with several families from church (the women all get together for a mom's prayer group). My sister stopped by on her way back to Des Moines to see us, and we enjoyed the lovely weather in the park.
Our evening plans with our neighbors ended up getting postponed, so we decided we'd check out another church that we've been feeling a drawing to recently. They were supposed to have a picnic worship service, but it had been raining on and off all afternoon, so they ate and worshipped inside then went outside for dessert, community outreach and a game of kickball.
It's a church that we felt right at home at on our first visit (it probably helped that we spent the weekend with many of the members at Covenant Pines last weekend). It's a very small church (about 50 people, I'm guessing). They operate on Benedictine principles and are very community-focused. The children are incorporated into worship: they're very liturgical, and when they have a responsive reading there is usually lines for the children to read. They sing the Lord's Prayer with actions, and Anders gets into doing it. And has the connection of the community come across in this? They're pretty intentional about community. And despite the fact that they're more monastic/liturgical/introverted in their practices, they also incorporate outreach into the community into their worship gatherings. I think for us, in our world where my wife's schedule changes day-to-day, that living in the church calendar and praying the hours and other such practices could give us a little more sense of having some rhythm in our lives--in addition to connecting us more to each other, the community and God.
So, we'll see what comes out of this (in some ways, it complicates things for us, but in most ways it's freeing to find community).