Easter at the Patriot Center

by on March 7th, 2015
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My son is on the Autism Spectrum. When he was young he wouldn’t sit through a worship service. This meant it wasn’t practical for us to apply the old adage; “a family that prays together stays together”. Some of the mothers with special needs children told my wife McLean Bible Church offered many services for special needs children and parents. McLean Bible Church is a “mega church” based in McLean, Virginia. My wife contacted the church and we took advantage of the respite care they offered. On Sundays they would watch our son as we attended the worship service.

Christian church attendance swells on Christmas Day and Easter Sunday. Ministers and priests know and accept this reality. Some churches view it as a semi-annual opportunity to recruit more church members. Other churches simply accept it as a one week bulge in their attendance. In either case there are the issues of an overcrowded church and bedlam in the parking lot. McLean Bible Church views Easter Sunday as an opportunity to recruit more church members. The Easter Sunday after we started attending McLean Bible Church it rented the Patriot Center, a nearby sports arena, for its Easter Services.

We had taken our son to arenas a couple of times before and he had behaved well. I also knew in an arena a rambunctious child is less likely to be noticed. So we decided to take him with us to the service. That Easter Sunday we drove to the Patriot Center. Parking on any given Sunday was difficult at McLean Bible Church. This Easter Sunday, at the Patriot Center, parking was no problem. This made me very happy. It was a bright sunny morning, it was what one thinks of when one pictures an Easter morning. They had greeters outside passing out programs. The arena was full, but not overcrowded. We entered into the arena and got seats high up in the stands. The visibility was excellent. Our son behaved well and seemed to enjoy the spectacle. Attending a worship service with my spouse and son in such a venue made it a memorable and enjoyable experience. I can’t remember anything about the sermon. Sometimes the feelings are more memorable and important than the words. That was the last time McLean Bible Church held a service at an arena. This made this Easter Sunday service more memorable to me.

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