Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Why I love the Black church by Sharon Watkins-Jones

I am so grateful to have been raised in a southern Black baptist church. I am anxious to enter the sanctuary every Sunday morning--nattily dressed, family in tow and ready to get my praise on.

Whether I am at my Houston church, which has a metropolitan vibe (and four “standing room only” Sunday services), or if I am visiting my parents in Waco, (where the congregation is often comprised of less than 50 worshipers, including the choir), I am able to find nurturing for my soul.

The church pew is equivalent to the therapist’s couch for me. If I have had a good week at home and at work, my gratitude flows in the form of tears. If my week has been trying or too hectic, those same tears signify relief, as I lay my burdens at the altar and leave them there. When I miss (or skip) Sunday services, I feel out of whack…there’s no glide in my stride, no pep in my step. A weekly dose of good ol’fashioned Black church does my body and soul good. I probably won’t need Xanax, Valium or whatever happy pills are in vogue, as long as I can find my way to the sanctuary and lift my hands in worship.

Sharon is a community college administrator, former special education teacher, wife of 17 years and mother of two school-age children in northwest Houston. Her primary interests are family-inclusive culture and arts, travel, politics, historical literature, Texas Longhorns and all things Disney.  She writes for the Houston Examiner as a featured columnist.  We have been friends since ‘the crib days.’

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