People get ready. There's a rant a comin'. Just had a moment of rejection and embarrassment all at the same time. And in church of all places. Now I remember why I haven't joined a church choir since I've been in LA the past 25 years. After singing in choirs my whole life and even directing one for a while at Calvary Baptist Church in Jamaica, Queens, I thought it be would natural to join a choir once I found a church home here in Los Angeles. So, in 1985 while attending Maranatha Church I went their choir rehearsal one evening with the intention of joining and was completely ignored by the choir director and all of the members. I'm sure I told her (the director) I wanted to join the choir, but no one said a word to me, no "welcome sister", no introduction, nothing.
Well obviously that put me off for years, because the whole time I was at West Angeles, I never even considered joining their choir. ALL those divas can sang. Yes I said sang.
So now, here I am at Agape. Been going there for years, worked a tiny bit with the Sign Language ministry and had been looking for a place to be of service, but never really found anything. At one point, I inquired about becoming a member, but for some reason, there's no "membership" anymore. No one has been able to tell me why. Lately, I've felt that Spirit might have been whispering to me to join the choir so tonight I went to audition. It was in front of the choir (I knew a lot of people there) but was rejected because I didn't have any service commitment in the past 6 months. I was at the end of a line of people auditioning, some who couldn't even find a key and they all got accepted except me. I told the truth, that I hadn't been of consistent service but attended quite frequently and paid my tithes to Agape (so much so my accountant made a comment about it when she did my taxes this year). Rickie still allowed me to sing but my heart was not in it and it was so embarrassing to have to pick up my stuff and leave the room. I am not OK with that. OK, so let me examine my part in all this. I did know the rules, but thought they would work with me. Why wasn't an option to start doing service in another ministry while being in the choir. No one offered me that choice. And isn't being in the choir being of service? It's not like it's a paying job. Apparently tithing and service are two different things but all I can think about is how much money I have given to that church which supposedly supports various ministries. Something just doesn't seem fair. And again, let me examine my motives which ironically involve money (or the lack thereof). Either way, it seems they do things differently on the west coast and it may be another 25 years until I ever try to join a church choir again. By then, who will even care? Ha! That's funny...apparently nobody cares right now.
I'm accustomed to the rejection I face on a daily basis because of the career I'm in, I certainly never expected it from a spiritual institution. Guess that's why it hurts so much.
I wish I wasn't taking this so personally, but I'm not feeling warm and fuzzy toward Agape right now. I'm going have to process this. It's gonna be hard to enjoy the choir like I have in the past. This is in part why I just enjoyed coming to church to worship only, not to get involved with personalities and stuff. At some point I need to let it go but it's gonna take a minute. Thoughts?