When my husband and I began having problems that I could not cope with (at that point no children yet) I joined a small Adventist church in Virginia. That was the best decision I had made at the time and certainly one I will fondly remember for the rest of my life. I made life long friends whom I consider brothers and sisters to this day. Roughly 40 years ago. We were a family in Christ in every sense of the word. Every person in that congregation matter and nothing was planned without involving the members in some way. Even if you were a bench warmer, you mattered in that little church. It was not about “religion”, it was about the people who came together on Sabbaths, on Vacation Bible School, Board Meetings, Business Meetings, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Communion, Love Feasts, we did it all, together. The community outreach was just as important as our involvement with each other. It was that kind of love that won my husband’s heart for Christ. I remember whenever we would have potluck one of the ladies would call him and say “come to potluck Saturday I made your favorite dish”. My husband was not a Seventh Day Adventist. I could tell you so many beautiful moments with a church family who will always be in my heart. And then we moved to the church that belonged to the GC. It was at that point I saw and experienced Christianity at it’s coldest form. The rest is history. I think many people fall in love with “religion” and not with Jesus.
A few years ago I went through a similar surgical procedure. I wish you the very best and know that God will be with you. The time of healing will be shortened if you follow the counsel of most eye physicians after the surgery:
Use eye drops correctly and regularly to prevent eye infection as per physician’s instructions
Do not let water or soap into the eye.
Wear protective glasses/shield at both day and night time.
Do not touch, rub, clean or press the eyes.
Avoid going to areas that have smoke, dust, fumes or excess steam.
Avoid harsh light or sunlight for few days after surgery.
Be aware your vision may have suddenly changed after you are
allowed to not use the eyepatch.
The housekeeping person in my nursing home years ago was in her
70’s when had her cataracts removed. Prior to it she always wore
glasses. After she did not need her glasses anymore. Took a long
time to get used to her without glasses.
At least in the Episcopal Church, the “diocese” (conference) significantly supplements the salary of pastors for churches that cannot afford to pay the salary. No, Adventists are not unique in centralized pastoral remuneration.
In a very real way we have never learned what it means to be in unison though our local realities may differ effecting how we live the gospel, or communicate it to others. As we grew from a small group of earnest believers in a message in which easy access and interactions between individual believers took place, into a millions behemoth we are today, we sought the impossible “we are all one” as in “we all think alike, believe alike, express our beliefs the same.” We didn’t create room for on the ground religion to play out within the framework of a belief system that defined us.