now that i'm completely off-track from my orignal thought...
I did not attend a worship service on Sunday. I'm not an official member of this group (thank you, if I don't need a secret de-coder ring to validate my presence here, I'll pass). Nonetheless, we've been developing a relationship with those who meet there on Sunday.
And there's the freedom: Here I was, stressing out on Sunday morning. I didn't want to attend. Busy doing my own thing. Feeling guilty over the part where you are *supposed* to develop relationships so that you have a *community* of believers. Back and forth, forth and back. Go and do the duty? Stay home and relax?
I finally realized that if I was stressing out that much about it, then for cyring out loud, stay home! And then I realized, that's a good bit of what I like about this group. I can stay home on Sunday. Free pass, no condemnation, no close questioning, no concern about backsliding or unhappiness with the group, etc.
This group is willing to trust its members to work out their own salvation. It is willing to respect boundaries and limits. It doesn't view itself as the gatekeeper of its members' souls.
Would that more congregations be willing to extend a hand of fellowship to their fellow humans—valiant, scared, searching, sincere, clueless though we may be—and leave that hand extended so that we can indeed walk together, worship together, join together as a true community of believers.