Hello, My Name is Susan and I am a Recovering Chreaster…

You know who you are…you are the people that sneak into church on Christmas and Easter filling the pews with children dressed in their finest holiday clothes and saving seats for your in-laws. You create a standing-room-only situation in a church that normally has several empty seats on any given Sunday.  You don’t know the new liturgy and you flub up the rest of us with your “…and also with you’s” when we finally got over our years of catholic conditioning.  You wear fancy Easter outfits with big hats and sit in the front of the church even though you will have to walk out with your screaming child somewhere around the consecration.

Do I sound bitter?  I am not really…I am curious.  My parents were Chreasters and I was always curious as to why we only went to church twice a year.  My dad never went with us, but my mother dressed us up and walked us over to our local Lutheran church to attend services.   As I approached my teen years, church went out the door all together.  I was clearly on my own for my religious education.  I went back to the Lutheran church for a year or two, abandoned that right before my confirmation, and started attending the Pentacostal church with my cousins.  AND I was attending an all-girls Catholic high school.  Yes, my religious search was broad.  Needless to say, I am not a cradle catholic, and quite honestly, I fit more into the dreaded “smorgasbord” catholic.  I’m surely spending time in purgatory (cough cough).

But I have a question for all of the Chreasters out there.  Why?  What is the allure of attending church only on those two high holidays?  Do you do it out of obligation?  Do you feel like you can retain your “Christian Card” if you attend services those two days of the year? Is it because you are all dressed up and need some place to go besides brunch at the club?  I just don’t get it.

Now please understand, I don’t believe you need to be in a church to worship God.  God exists everywhere, in all things, in all beings.  You can have church in your backyard as far as I’m concerned.  But it appears to me that Chreasters have a need to be seen, to show the world that they are trying and what better time to achieve that goal than on the two biggest church holidays of the year.  And if the goal is to provide your children with some kind of religious education, trust me, twice a year isn’t going to cut it.  They will grow up as confused as I was.  I was once that embarrassed parent in the front row at Christmas Eve mass whose child shouted out during a very quiet lull in the service “I hate church!”

So my challenge to the Chreasters is to choose. This doesn’t mean you have to attend church every Sunday.  It doesn’t mean you have to stop doing your Chreaster gig either.  It means commit to God or not.  Go all in or fold.  If you are truly committed to living a Christ-like life you won’t need to be seen on Easter and Christmas.  God doesn’t want to hang out with you only when your dressed to the nines.  He/She wants to hang out with you everyday…in your pj’s, in your yoga pants, in your God-given birthday suit.  And if you decide to attend church services more faithfully, do it with mindfulness and an open heart.

For the goal isn’t to be seen; God sees us.  The goal is to see God in everyone else.




About Goddess Arriving

Welcome to Goddess Arriving! I'm a 52 year old mother of three budding goddesses, grad student, runner and seeker of all things spiritual. This blog is my "white space" to speak my truth and explore ways to live well and age with grace and wisdom.

1 comment on “Hello, My Name is Susan and I am a Recovering Chreaster…

  1. In support of your recovery of “Cheasters” let me enlighten you on my own “cheaster” ways! I find my sunday ritual of watching super soul sunday and taking time away from work, school, family and the urgency of having to be somewhere. The thought of getting dressed up and in the car to go to service is in someways another “to do” on the calendar. My weekly connection to God is deeper than that from my own home. But it is out of respect for God that I show up to celebrate his birth and his resurrection. Standing room only is blessing. I try to go at least 6 times a year. Sometimes more, some less. I know if I wasnt so swamped with school I would be there more often. I finally found a church I feel a sense of belonging. So it is a treat and a delight to go as opposed to a task or chore. So dont let the past trigger you today. Smile when your church is full because those are souls we are called to save. You do great work Susan. Proud of you.

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