my church friends, unexpected fellowship
When I started going to FAPC (http://www.fapc.org/), making friends was something I had considered. After all, that had never been my experience in any religious circle. As a matter of fact, my experience had been that of the individual sharing practically nothing in common other than considering ourselves to be “true” Christians.
During the first months, I read a lot of information on Christianity, divisions and differences in the Church, denominations, schism, Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Knox and anything else I could get my hands on. I wanted to make sure that what I had considered to be a “true” Christian would somehow fit into whatever new ideologies I was encountering in this different church. Nowadays Protestant Christianity makes more sense to me than my previous 37 years calling myself and/or being considered Catholic (born into a Catholic family/society and going to Catholic churches, all the while considering Protestants wrong).
Going back to the main subject, I started talking to other church goers asking questions here and there — nothing special, nothing personal, other than the Christian faith. I then started going to these one-hour talks/classes. I slowly started hanging out in church with the same group of people and making friends there without realizing (fellowship). I also took several Bible study classes and met others and got to know some of the previous group of people somewhat better.
These new group of friends are guys whom I can talk, joke, laugh, eat (perhaps the favorite activity) and most importantly share a common faith (being Christian, perhaps with some differences in Christology — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christology –here and there). As a matter of fact, nowadays some of my dearest friends are from church. At the same time, I’m very grateful to some of them for helping me grow as a Christian and a better person (https://christiannoob.wordpress.com/2010/05/open-letter-to-my-friends-86-weeks/).
I doesn’t stop to amaze me how weird this one church is that these random people (myself included) have come together from different parts — all coming to a common time and place in the universe. I don’t think any of them is from NYC (myself included though living 27 years in this city).