After dropping Jonah off, we choose to go to the central sanctuary so we could see the minister face to face instead of on a screen. After we sang the first praise song, an usher came up behind us. He asked if Andrew could sit through the whole service. I proceeded to tell him that he would be able to. The usher offered a class for Andrew to go to but I told him that Andrew wanted to be with us. He then stated that "they prefer children not to be in here" and that "there was a place for us to all sit together" elsewhere. I polietely declined explaining that Andrew sits through our 1.5hr service weekly and would be fine. I think he was surprised we were not following him out of the service.
Maybe to some this sounds fine but I was completely offended and after he left, I started to cry. It was so sad to me to be told my child did not belong in this church! I do understand that they are taping and broadcasting the service but Andrew had not even made a peep up to that point. It is one thing to ask us to leave if Andrew started to get rowdy but he was sitting like a proper little boy and was doing just fine. Keep in mind we were sitting in the 2nd to last row too! Ironically the sermon was about communion bringing all of us together - I guess they don't think kids are included in that!
At the welcome time, the others around us did not seem bothered by Andrew and even made a point to say Good Morning to him. After church was over, the woman in front of us said he was "perfect" and that she "forgot he was even there". That made me proud!
I did like the sermon and was glad to know that the church was otherwise very Biblically based. God certainly knew we would be there as they held communion. They apparently have not had communion on a Sunday morning in years (yes! years they said! - it is offered other times) but Nate's dad prefers to have communion every Sunday. What evidence of God's hand in our attendance at that particular church!
I am just saddened that church has now become enough of a production in some places that children are not even allowed. Taping and broadcasting the service should not be more important then the people participating in the service.