Monday, December 15, 2008

in with the new

like most good filipino parents, mine had me baptized into the catholic church when i was a baby. and i have some early memories of attending sunday services with my parents, but it wasn't like i was raised in the church or anything. i didn't do the typical ceremonies, like first communion or confirmation, but i had my own beliefs, and i was comfortable with it.

the ex was not a believer. at all. and his influence on me was pretty strong, so he managed to convince me during our years together that there was no god, and that church and religion as a whole were a complete waste of time. if i'm totally honest, i never actually agreed with him on that, but i kept that little tidbit to myself. and when the teen was born, we bowed to family pressure and had her baptized as well, although we never attended church services. so the teen wasn't exposed to any type of religion for a long time.

enter the hub. after a lot of reluctance on my part for the first few years of our relationship, i decided to go to church with him one sunday in 2004. on mother's day that year, the pastor delivered a sermon that really hit home for me, and i found myself sobbing uncontrollably while the hub just hugged me close and let me get it all out. i still get teary remembering that day.

anyway, we've been attending the same church ever since. it's the same church that his grandparents attend, and it's an old fashioned, very traditional and conservative congregation. the same pastor had been preaching there for nearly forty years, and we had both come to enjoy his sermons. i personally found his smiling face and calm voice comforting, and i looked forward to seeing him on sundays.

but then he announced that the time had come for his retirement. he'd weathered all sorts of storms, including the loss of his mother, a cancer diagnosis, and beating the disease. and now he felt it was time for him to step back and give the church a chance to start fresh. it took quite a while, but a new pastor finally arrived earlier this year.

in the meantime, we found ourselves not attending as regularly as we used to. the teen was pretty happy about this, as she wasn't thrilled about going anyway. heh. and i'd only ever heard the new pastor preach a couple of times. i wasn't sure if i liked him or not.

until yesterday. we arrived in time for the third (and last) service, and after finding a seat, the hub took the bean downstairs to the nursery to play. the church was all set up for their annual christmas pageant, with a stage and music stands set up for the orchestra. the pastor got up to deliver his welcoming remarks, and got as far as "good morning, everyone" before he took a step back, lost his balance, and took a tumble backwards, knocking over music stands as he went. i'm pretty sure i even saw his feet fly up into the air.

amid the shocked silence that immediately followed, we heard:

"live, from new york..."

there was relieved laughter and applause, as those closest to him sprang into action to help him up. poor guy. he laughed at himself throughout the rest of his remarks, and i was amused at his self-deprecating humor. i'm pretty sure i wouldn't have been able to think of something clever to say after falling on my head in front of a couple hundred spectators.

i think i'm gonna like the new guy after all.

9 comments:

  1. I, too, was baptized Catholic but never went to church growing up.

    Glad the new pastor seems to be working out!

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  2. another former catholic here, too. except I was baptized, had first communion, was confirmed, AND had to go to CCD until I was a sophomore.

    funny about the new pastor!

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  3. I might attend a service if I could watch the pastor take a header during the ceremony. Too funny. Hope the new guy continues to work out.

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  4. Hoy Vey, the catholic church...I'm still known as the NON-BAPTIZED!! and I am now related to the stinking Bishop! How did you not laugh and point when he fell?!

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  5. I love pastors that have fun and can relate to what's really happening in life :)

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  6. OMG, I can't stop laughing. I can't stop laughing. I just cried I laughed so hard. I love falling down, and what a great line to add on....I would go to church for that show.
    I was baptized and confirmed catholic but then I pretty much rebelled--not that I don't believe there's something else, a higher power, and that there are karmic rewards for being a good person--but church really freaks me out, and the religion I was raised with I felt really went against against my political beliefs. I know, though, for a lot of people it's a lifesaver, a time of peace, and a time to reflect, and I can say with confidence I feel better if someone tells me they've prayed for a bad situation in my life. Maybe that makes me a fair-weather fan, I don't know.
    I often tell poeple I'm still Catholic, because I still have the guilt. Straight up. That never leaves! :)

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  7. too funny! sounds like this guy will be pretty great.

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