I finally went to church last Sunday! I went to Spanish Fort United Methodist Church. Growing up in the UMC, I'd love to be able to just transfer membership to a UMC here, but I'm also very open to many different kinds of churches. This church actually has services taking place simultaneously at two locations, a traditional service and a contemporary service. The pastors seem to rotate around the services. I found myself at the contemporary, which was nice, but I'm used to traditional services so I'll try that as well.
It was similar to a modern UMC service in CA - it was a little over an hour, and there was praise music (although not much singing by the congregation, and the songs were good!). And the sermon was on the Good Samaritan, so pretty standard, not controversial. My biggest concern in finding a church is that it not be too conservative. So far so good. This church seems particularly dedicated to service, which is something that I liked. I picked up a newsletter on my way out, and thought it was funny to see a Nick Saban (head football coach at Alabama) reference in the Pastor's article.
One thing that I loved being there for was a baby's Baptism - it's hard for me to go to church here because this is a mostly independent endeavor for me - I know practically everyone at my church in Mission Viejo, and so being by myself in a new place with no one I know was a little tough. But to see that Baptism, to think back on camp in August, when we reflected on our baptism, really helped me to connect with God and to find purpose in what I'm doing in trying to find a church here. It made me realize that while it's important to find a congregation that I will feel comfortable with, I also need to remember that that is inferior to my need to have a relationship with God and to worship God. I think it took some of the pressure off, and I think it will make the process a little easier.
I haven't decided where I will go this weekend, possibly back to Spanish Fort UMC, or possibly Daphne UMC - we'll see!