So, before I get to the main body of the post, just wanted to update a few more things.
1. Our Internet did get shut off. However, until they come out here to turn it back on again (or just get it together enough to flip a switch; not sure how this works) we found this temporary solution. I don't know of anything like it in the states, but there's no reason why I would if such a thing does exist. Basically, we have a little SIM card thing that plugs into a USB device, and you can pick up wireless with it. It's pretty fast and you get a week free (1GB until they start to throttle). There are different plans, or you can just pay for the days you use it. We're hoping we don't have to do it for more than a week or so but at least we aren't totally off the grid.
2. It's finally starting to cool off a little. If you've seen my posts on Facebook or Twitter, you know that we had some near record-breaking heat here. I mean like 97 degrees which is unheard of. There was a day when I just lay in bed in front of the fan for basically the whole day. It's supposed to get even cooler which as a pregnant lady who has to walk up four flights of stairs every day is no problem with me.
Okay, so now to talk about what I promised in the title of the post: our second church experience. This time, we had to go to Cologne. It's about an hour away. There are a few English-speaking churches there; the one we chose to try first was called International Baptist Church. In order to get there, we had to take two trains and a subway. I was tired out even by the time we got to Cologne. Luckily, the service started at 2:00 pm, which is pretty nice when it takes so long to get there. We didn't even have to leave the house until about 11:00!
We got to the church and were welcomed by someone who I'm guessing is from England, based on accent. Hunter thought at least one of the British Isles but he didn't sound Welsh or Scottish or Irish. He said that over 26 nations were represented at the church. The regular pastor is from Wyoming, but he wasn't there that day; the man who preached was from India. Hunter said that the service was definitely very "Baptist" for a few reasons: 1) the sermon had three points, and the preacher called attention to the fact that there were three points and 2) during one of the songs people were clapping but basically everyone was clapping at a different rhythm (which I don't really get but apparently it can happen). The sermon was also really long, like about an hour. The biggest problem with this was that Sunday was one of the hotter days, and even though the room was big with high ceilings it was really hot in there. I was fanning myself with the bulletin CONSTANTLY. Plus the benches weren't super comfortable, but I'm blaming that more on Scunter than anything else because I just can't sit down (or stand, or lie down) for too long at once these days.
Overall, I would go back to this church, but I would definitely prefer something a bit more... liturgical, I guess, or maybe traditional is a better word for it. There is an Anglican church in Cologne and I think also one in Maastricht (Netherlands) so those may be among the ones we try next.
The hardest thing about the day was how exhausting it was for me. By the time we got to the train station to go home, I was so tired and tense I just snapped. I had felt like I would collapse for about 5 hours at that point and the trip just seemed like too much to do every week. I've been thinking about some ways to possibly deal with it next time. Even though the train station is only about a 15-20 minute walk, taking a bus would definitely save some energy. I also think if I bring a huge water bottle and stay hydrated better, then that could help me (I hate drinking water because it makes me want to throw up, but in this case it might help). And of course, with the weather getting cooler the heat won't be there to get to me as much. On Sunday evening, I really though I cannot make this trip again. But I think that with it being more familiar there might be less anxiety and I can also plan for the things that made it difficult.
Anyway, hope it's not too long before my next post!