A Buddhist goes into a church…

I finally went to a Mummy and Me gathering at the local Baptist church around the corner. We usually have activities to do on Wednesdays, but with the encouragement of a neighbourhood mum I chat with, we went. She’s a really nice lady with a 17 month old who just adores my kid. She is probably bored stiff.  Sometimes we walk together with our kids.  Now I knew about this place for some time, but it being held in a church, I was a little reticent to go.  After all, my husband is a atheist, I’m a Buddhist and the kid is not baptized. Doomed to hell, right?  Of course, the sign out front didn’t see it was a Christian mummy and me group and it could have been a non-denominational group using church space.  Anyways, I told her we’d meet her there to see what it was like.

We were welcomed very warmly by everyone, that was so nice.  It was a small group of mothers and nannies (this being a nanny type of neighbourhood); one 3 year old asked me if I was “taking care” of my kid.  Cute.  We decorated an Easter gift bag; I noted how expensive the trimmings were.  Oooh, sparkly stickly flowers, and slick bunny bags.  Oooh, fancy stuff.  I did not use the God stickers.  Then off to wash our hands for snack time and lo and behold, they had provided free snacks for the kids.  And right before serving them, there was a gratitude prayer with an amen.  Okay, no problem, nothing wrong with an amen.  Goldfish crackers, dried cherries, cheerios, and Easter cupcakes.  I always carry healthy snacks with me but of course, my kid was so excited to have goldfish crackers at 10:30 in the morning.  I cut him half of the cupcake (just to be social) cause the last thing he needs is that much sugar without a decent lunch. Luckily, my kid is not that crazy about sugary snacks, he actually prefers fruit. I was kinda hoping he’d leave it for me, but alas, he ate it. Bugger.

After snack time, it’s story time and song time!  A cute little finger puppet song that told of 4 cute little monkeys being eaten by an alligator.  No survivors!   Lovely little ditty.  I had spotted a Bible stories book being toted around by one of the ladies and yes, guess which story the kids were read?  “Jesus was put on a a cross and then he died”.  Omilowercaseg.  Accurate and to the point.   I was kind of hoping for a story about a little blue bird demonstrating friendship and harmony, but no.  Luckily, my kid was too distracted with playing around and not old enough to ask me what it all meant.  The 3 year old girl interjected with a story of her own about a rocket ship. I smiled but I was truly uncomfortable.

Back when I was still a churchgoer, meaning I went twice a year – at Easter and Christmas, I quite enjoyed the Easter story because Jesus came back and it was the women he spoke to first.  Apparently, the kids weren’t going to get the what happened next until they came back next week though.  We skipped the bowl of chocolate Easter eggs on our way out.

I don’t plan on returning any time soon.  They were very lovely women and it was nice meeting everyone, but it’s not for us.  We have enough activities to do.   It’s funny, I remember going to Sunday school with an Easter basket and really nice clothes on.  I really don’t remember anything other than playing so I suppose the Precious will remember the goldfish crackers.

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4 thoughts on “A Buddhist goes into a church…

  1. I am laughing *with* you right now. Being a fellow nonchurcher but living in an area where many activities, preschools, groups etc are church oriented I had to say ‘no thanks’ to some nice people that wanted to include me. I went a few times to various functions to get out of the house and loosen my kids grip on my pant leg and those events always started out fine. Fun even. Then they started to erode into some pretty consistent preaching and I would ease our way out the door. Ironically it wasn’t even the official preacher preaching, it was the mothers. One asked me if I had *been saved* and I had to smile and tell her I was never in danger. Mean? Maybe but when I left her in my dust she had the look on her face that said she wasn’t sure what I meant, so I like to believe I gave her a reason to pray the rest of the night.
    (and shame on Precious for denying his mother a much needed sugar buzz of her own 😉

  2. Having spent my childhood attending a Southern Baptist Church (apparently the “Southern” part is important) I knew what was coming and chuckled. I enjoy reading others’ perspectives when they experience it. There is absolutely no function or event that occurs within the walls of a Baptist Church without one primary objective. I am sure the conversation the board members had about hosting Mommy and Me activities at the church concluded with affirmation that it was a great way to get “non-believers” in the door and “witness” to them. I am not slamming them by any means but I know how they operate all too well. Fortunately I have long since shed those ties to my Southern Baptist upbringing. Hopefully I have kept the good lessons learned from those years but I still feel that Baptist guilt/shame at the most asinine things. It was fun reading about your experience. I am still chuckling.

  3. oh, and recently I completely bit the head off a couple of people from a large Baptist Church near my neighborhood when they knocked on my door to invite me to church. The knocking got the dogs barking which startled Sofie out of her nap (and she had JUST finally fallen asleep) and pissed.me.the.hell.off. I think I made sure they’d never be back. 🙂

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