I just had a talk with Caleb over the phone. I work in Virginia, but we can’t quite move the family from New Jersey yet. So I live in two places. It’s rough, but I expect it to get better. I like my job, and I like my organization and the people I work with. I also now live in close proximity to one of the best friends I’ve ever had.
Caleb called me tonight. He’ll be 6 next month. This isn’t the weekend I go home. I have a 3 day weekend, but we figured I’d have to leave so early on Monday to stay ahead of traffic it wouldn’t be worth the trip home. I’ll go home next weekend as part of my normal schedule.
I was telling Caleb about the church I go to down here. I’m technically a member of 2 churches right now: Berean Baptist Church in Magnolia, NJ and Grace Baptist Church in Woodbridge, VA. So far, no rift has opened in the space/time continuum.
Some background: the church I got saved in was the Pitman Church of Christ. They’ve since moved. They sold the old building and built a new one. As far as Caleb is concerned, it’s the “brown church”. Berean is the “white church” Those colors refer to the color the building is painted. I think Caleb was 3 the last time he was at Pitman. We went there for 8 years. For various reasons, we switched to Berean. It was partly because we’d been taking our kids to their AWANA program at Berean for 2 years. We decided to see what their worship was like, and stuck around. It was 4 miles from home vs. the 10 mile drive to Pitman’s old building. Pitman’s new building is farther. We had other issues, and for some reason, every time we went to the Pitman building, my 6 year old, Joshua, threw up. Literally every time we went there he got physically ill. We have no idea why. It hurt to leave. I was an established teacher there, with a small following. I really enjoyed and miss teaching my Bible classes there. But I had to make a decision to lead my family somewhere else.
I was telling Caleb over the phone about Grace. He asked “What color is it?” For some reason, at his age, the color of the paint on the outside of the church has relevance. I can’t say I noticed. Maybe I’ll take a picture tomorrow. For some reason, Caleb keeps asking to return to the “brown church”. For various reasons, including the extended drive to the new building, that’s not likely.
If it matters, I don’t consider myself to be under any label but follower of “The Way”. I don’t really care what label is on the church’s marquee. At one point, Berean tried to drop the label “Baptist”, which lead to a fecal storm of epic proportions from a small minority of the membership, but that minority was vocal enough to stall the proposal.
I chose Grace in Woodbridge because a really good friend of mine goes there. I hooked up with a small group that has been a real blessing to me. And I hope to take my family there when we can eventually leave New Jersey permanently.