A few weeks ago I went on a spiritual retreat. I needed to get away and have some time, just Jesus and I. I headed out to beautiful Falls Mill for a Sunday, but did not plan very well. I arrived early, around 9:00, to find out that they did not open until 12:30. On to plan B. I started driving and praying that God would show me a place where I could stop and worship Him. I meant a park or rest stop where I would be comfortable in my jeans, sweatshirt, and tennis shoes.
Instead, God sent me to a Mennonite church. Since I’m a member of the Mennonite church, I thought that would be perfect. And it was. Only – this was a traditional Mennonite church. I sat on the women’s side, of course, surrounded by women and children with long hair in buns wearing head coverings and simple skirts. The worship service was very simple and traditional. A capela music, only men leading the worship. There were several lessons, which I took notes on. They were just what I needed to hear that day. Also, I showed up on communion day. They only take communion twice a year, it includes public confession and feet washing.
How beautiful to hear individuals stand up and say to the church “I have confessed my sins, should any of my brothers or sisters find something impure with me, I ask that they bring it to my attention. I would like to participate in communion.” (that’s the best I can remember what was actually said.)
After several reverant prayers and songs, communion, and feet washing, the service ended. Unfortunately, I did not feel that I should stay for the celebration dinner that followed. My fellow believers did offer to make me a plate of food. They were so kind and loving to me, even though I obviously stood out like the terrible burn on my finger right now. I did have the opportunity to explain why I was there, which I’m sure was passed around after I left.
If you ever have the opportunity to visit a Mennonite church, I highly recommend it. I also recommend dressing a little nicer, simpler, than I happened to that day! It was a joyous experience which I am grateful for. Worshiping with other believers and fellow Mennonites was a God-given beginning to my spiritual retreat.