About the Author
R. W. Alley is the illustrator for the popular Abbey Press adult series of Elf-help books, as well as an illustrator and writer of children’s books. He lives in Barrington, Rhode Island, with his wife, daughter, and son. See a wide variety of his works at: www.rwalley.com.
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I Don't Want to Go to Church!
Turning the Struggle into a Celebration
By John Mark Falkenhain, R. W. Alley
Abbey PressCopyright © 2009 Br. John Mark Falkenhain, O.S.B.
All rights reserved.
Going to Church
Not everyone goes to church, but lots of people do. Many families go to church every Sunday and sometimes even more often. There are other families who go to church every once in a while, on special occasions or important holidays.
Many families go to church together, but there are some people who go alone. Sometimes that is because they are not married or have no family, so the people at church become a kind of family for them.
In some families, the mother and father go to different churches—usually the churches they went to when they were growing up. When they come home from their churches each Sunday, they might talk about what the priest or minister said. Sometimes in these families, the children grow up going to two different churches.
Why Do We Go to Church?
There are lots of reasons why people go to church. One good reason is that we are all children of God, who invites us to church to help us remember that God made each one of us. If you are not sure why your family goes, you might want to ask your mother or father.
Your mother might say, "We go to church to thank God for all the good things that happen to us each week. Remember the fun we had at the park last Friday? Or how happy we were when Aunt Sue came home from the hospital? These are good things from God; so we need to go out of our way a little to say thank you."
Or your father might say, "We go to church to ask for God's help when we have problems. You know how you are having a hard time at school getting along with Joey? Well, the next time you go to church, you might ask God to help you figure out how to stop fighting with him."
It's a Tradition!
There are even more reasons for going to church. If you asked your grandma why she goes to church, she might say, "Honey, I've always gone to church. It's just what our family does on Sunday. I've been going since I was a little girl."
That is what we call tradition. Tradition is something that you do over and over again, year after year, for important reasons, even if you can't quite remember them all. Blowing out candles on a birthday cake is a tradition. Putting up a Christmas tree is a tradition, too.
Sometimes we go to church without thinking about all the reasons why we are going. But that doesn't mean it isn't important, or that it doesn't mean anything.
Sometimes I Don't Feel Like Going to Church!
There are times in most people's lives when they don't feel like going to church. Even parents sometimes don't want to go, but they do because they know it is important.
Getting up and getting dressed for church is not what we always feel like doing on a Sunday morning. You might wish instead to stay in bed and sleep, or watch cartoons, or play video games.
Some children don't want to go because they feel bored in church, or because they have a hard time understanding everything that is going on. Sometimes it is difficult to sit quietly for a long time. Sometimes, though, when we do things we don't feel like doing, we later find out how good or fun they really can be!
Excerpted from I Don't Want to Go to Church! by John Mark Falkenhain, R. W. Alley. Copyright © 2009 Br. John Mark Falkenhain, O.S.B.. Excerpted by permission of Abbey Press.
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