The Search for a Place to Worship a Loving God Continues

I’m going to be writing about a touchy subject today: Church. And I don’t want anybody to take offense because I am new to the search for a place to worship. In fact, I’ve never been baptized.

It’s a long tedious tale but somebody might find some use in this. My Dad started out a religious kid. His mother, Nana to us grandkids, was religious. My Dad was a believer as I said until he entered WWII as a second lieutenant in the Marines. Pop always said that the experience of war turned him against firmly believing in a God.

“How could a loving God allow such atrocities to happen,” I remember Dad used to say or words to that effect. Me and my brothers were never baptized because of my Dad’s disbelief.

Because of personal experiences, I’ve come to believe in a God of my understanding and started about 18 months ago to find a place to worship. I never have been a regular attendee of church but believed and still do that it would be nice to be with people that also believed in a loving God.

I started this journey back in Keene, NH, where I met and was befriended by the pastor of a non-denominational Christian church. I’m not going to use names of churches or pastors because I don’t want to inadvertently offend anyone.

I liked the pastor in New Hampshire. He was nice, forthcoming and generous with his time. But the push for money bothered me and the taped presentation of the service that was several days old bothered as well. I continued to attend, though. The seats were comfortable, and I was hoping my desire to get closer to God would overcome some of the man-made obstacles.

I then returned home to the Los Angeles area and more specifically South Pasadena. I have met several pastors here and have attended services at a couple of churches. Some well attended, some not so well attended. I even was filming a service for a pastor until my schedule prohibited me from continuing.

I like all the pastors I have met. I admire what they do and have come to realize how difficult it is to start a church, whether it be a new ministry or a ministry on an established site. It is very hard work. I couldn’t do it.

One Sunday, I was sitting in a well-attended service here in So Pas when I noticed a throng of young people crowded at the front of the stage where the Christian songs were being sung. I saw joy in their eyes. I teared up a bit. Don’t know why but I did.

I also know that as my search continues, I take God with me wherever I go. A loving God that says yes to all that is good, gentle and kind. Talk soon.

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Steve Whitmore is the editor for the South Pasadena Review. Steve has spent more than four decades as an award-winning print and broadcast journalist with a 16-year stint as the senior media advisor for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Steve comes to us from the Keene Sentinel in Keene, New Hampshire, where he covered politics and was a columnist.