We've been looking for a church home since we got here to AK. Between Dave's trip overseas, morning sickness, kids being sick, and us having just 1 car we have only had 4 weeks of free sundays to try them out. But we've tried to talk to the locals and people Dave works with to get some ideas. The other 3 we tried were not a good fit for us. There was either too much emotion or too much legalism or the kids felt uncomfortable.
Today though we found a relaxed, but respectful contemporary service. The older boys went to the service with us, but Ephraim and Elsa gladly went to their Sunday School classes. There was good security in place for them (a huge relief for me) and they both loved it. Elsa said she made a friend and that she wants us to choose this church. That made me happy for her. She needs the social outlet so badly, and we haven't been able to provide it for her yet. I noticed that they seem to mingle the age groups during children's church, and I really love seeing that.
The other cool thing was that they have an overflow area with a tv screen to watch the service. I LOVE that since when my babies get too loud to be in the service, but aren't yet comfortable in the nursery or tot area, I can still be caring for them AND getting fed spiritually. Our last church was huge, and yet they wouldn't provide that type of space for parents because they feel that you should put the babies in child care whether they liked it or not. Grrrr. So a ton of parents are always just hanging out in the hallway areas caring for their kids AND missing out on the sermon. So I'm happy to see that this church is open to different viewpoints.
Had to share my exciting news. Dave and I are hopeful that we've found somewhere to connect to people and the community, and for the kids to be able to be around other children at least once a week :)