As a significant wedding anniversary approaches, some early experiences came to mind:
The best piece of advice my wife's minister gave to us was this: don't 'take turns' with housekeeping jobs. If you see a job, do it. Volunteer rather than be asked.
Our wedding was in a lower north shore church, which will remain nameless, but it was the church that my wife's family had used for 'hatch, match and dispatch' jobs for some generations.
We got on well with the rector, so started attending once married, as we lived nearby.
Our experience was not good. After our first evening service we were swamped! It's important to be welcomed, but this was overwhelming. It was as though we were the first newcomers of a generation!
Worse was to come: the reaction to my occupation was horrible. That I was asked so early in our acquaintance was bad enough, but when I said I was a barista, it was evidently misunderstood, and people started talking about legal practice, and quite fawning over me. Both of us were disgusted that a group of Christians would behave this way.
Needless to say, we did not return, but returned instead to my wife's 'home' church Holy Trinity Mowbray, now part of LCM churches. A delightful small church with warm friends and very including community. More churches should learn from it.