Finding a Church… er, a Chapel?

We had rather a nice surprise this morning.  While walking towards the chapel service on base – and meanwhile reminding ourselves to be positive about this experience, we need to do this to consider all our options, we are sure to be disappointed by “just a military chapel service” – we saw large groups of parents and children walking towards the chapel.

And more.

And more.

We walked into the chapel and there were at least 100 people there, almost all of them families, and almost all of them officers’ families.  Perhaps I need not state the obvious: no other church service we’ve attended in Sicily so far has included these 3 elements. 

And then we saw that Lena’s pediatrician was leading music, which was more good news, because he likes to call himself Dr. Josh the Singing Pediatrician (has flyers posted all over his office) and has 3 little kids and a really sweet wife named Becca and we think we’re going to be friends with them.  Also, he’s a good guitar player.  And the songs we sang were rich songs, and included “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us.”

And then we liked the sermon, too, which is the first in a series about Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Destiny (“ie. Heaven and Hell”… was it too much to hope that he’d call it “Restoration”?). 

And then they served communion, and four older fathers served that, and also took up the offering. 

And then afterwards everyone was very welcoming.  Another young mom gave me her phone number.  We talked to several young parents.  We also talked to some older parents who all told us eagerly that their kids like to babysit.  We talked to the pastor, too, who will be leaving in December and his replacement has a PCUSA background.  We went to part of a meeting about VBS that they are hosting in 2 weeks and I think I’ll volunteer to help out with that.

Well.  What do you know.

Elliott and I talked about it over lunch and were both hesitant to get excited. We’ve been hesitant to get excited or discouraged about anything thus far, even to each other.  And we haven’t visited all our options yet, so the search is not necessarily over.  However, it did encourage us to imagine this as a possibility.

Wouldn’t it be funny if we did end up at a “military chapel” for 3 years?  After all our presuppositions before our arrival about various churches and the right setting for us, the Lord might just surprise us yet.

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