Yesterday was our first Sunday that we were able to go to church here in York. (Last Sunday, the day after arriving, we were still in a bit of a jet-lagged haze and somewhat concerned the agents from the Home Office might still find us and reconsider their decision from the day before!)
As planned, we went to St. Michael-le-Belfry, right next to the Minster. Unfortunately, this didn't go as well as we might have hoped. Like many more 'evangelical' churches here in England, the church has sold its soul to a ridiculously "seeker-senstivie" mentality which creates 5 different services looking to cater to the "needs" of all kinds of different people. In addition, they seemed to want to make church as happy and "not boring" as possible. And since we attended the "Family Service," this seeker-senstive mentality basically translated into license for children to roam the sanctuary unattended with various adults chasing as needed, with two "perky" leaders on the "stage" that reminded me of Romper Room. (Did I mention that we also stopped for a 20-minute juice & granola bar break in the middle of the service?!) It didn't feel like worship at all; it felt like some sort of religious version of The Wiggles. If I was looking for child-centered chaos, I could have stayed at home!
So, needless to say, we're looking for a church.
But today Deanna and I had an experience that made up for this: we enjoyed Holy Communion in York Minster cathedral. Holy Communion is celebrated each day at 12:30pm, so we enjoyed a small company of saints (we were certainly the youngest!) who gathered in St. John's chapel. We were a little out of our element, but the Book of Common Prayer has become important to us over the last few years so we also felt at home. It was so refreshing and nourishing, we're hoping to make this a daily, lunch-break habit.