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Choosing a church?

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Skittl1321, Aug 27, 2013.

  1. mrr50

    mrr50 Well-Known Member

    This is what I did plus I looked for a church the had active family/child/teen programs with the thought that a church that is interested in those programs is also interested in the future. I live in rural Wisconsin so I understand what you are going through.
  2. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

    Just did a quiz on beliefnet.com it said I should be an Orthodox Quaker...

    Finding a church that is a strong fit for me might be tough.
  3. LilJen

    LilJen Reaching out with my hand sensitively

    Ditto on the recommendations for Episcopal churches. The liturgy is remarkably similar to the RC liturgy, and that's one feature of worship that's important to a lot of RCs/Episcopals/otherwise liturgical folks. UCC and PCUSA (NOT Presby Church in America) are also in the liberal spectrum and gay friendly (though that stance is officially more recent with PCUSA). But yeah, in all these churches you'll find a range of stances/beliefs as far as the faith goes. In the Episcopal church you have one major bishop (Spong) who doesn't even believe in the resurrection and questions whether Jesus was divine (and my response is, "so why are you involved in a Christian church," but that's a whole other discussion) and people who are very traditional/orthodox/"Bible bashing" and everything in between.

    I think the other idea posted upthread--see where churches are involved in the community and whether they take on issues or work with charities that are dear to your heart.

    There are some who really disdain the idea of "church shopping" and contend that you stay with your local church forever and ever, amen. Then there are others who are all, "geez, that espresso bar was really subpar" or "I don't like the way the Sunday school teacher dresses" and change churches constantly, but there's gotta be a middle ground somewhere. Nothing's going to fit perfectly, but if you can find a place that feels right to you--and by that I mean not only does it meet your needs BUT there's also a place for you to serve--then yay.

    (And yes, there are so many different flavors of Baptist, I can't keep track. Also many different "Brethren" types. Very confusing!)
    victorskid and (deleted member) like this.
  4. heckles

    heckles Well-Known Member

    Some Episcopalian and other traditionally liturgical denominations have contemporary services, but that's a source of controversy in itself. What's happened in some of those congregations, especially with the youth, is that they grow to like the contemporary worship style and eventually end up switching to unaffiliated mega-churches offering the same worship style. A "gateway drug" of sorts.
  5. dinakt

    dinakt Well-Known Member

    I don't go to church so this is not a personal knowledge... but my understanding is that Unitarian Church is one of the most accepting.
  6. sk8pics

    sk8pics Well-Known Member

    I did not know this. Thanks for the info. But surely many people of all denominations respect leaders of other faiths. I hope so, anyway. But thanks for this.
  7. RoseAugust

    RoseAugust Active Member

    ... and then there are my kids, who don't particularly care for church but IF they HAVE to go, it had better have (what they consider) traditional liturgy and hymns. As teenagers they didn't like contemporary or "praise" style worship and as mid-20ers, they still don't. I mean REALLY don't!

    My husband and I go to different Lutheran churches, both ELCA. His is a large downtown church that is on the liberal side and has a membership of folks who are generally well-educated and financially stable. Both contemporary and traditional worship services are offered and the music is polished and of a high standard. My church is small, is liberal, and has a membership ship with a substantial number of folks on "society's edge." We barely get by. The music is . . . well, we try! My kid's prefer the smaller, less polished church.
  8. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

    I read this and wondered whether Orthodox Quakers kept kosher or perhaps celebrated Easter on a later date, but then I read the Wikipedia article on Quakers and discovered that there are theological disagreements even among Friends.

  9. heckles

    heckles Well-Known Member

    Your kids have a fortunate preference, because the traditional services in the mainline churches tend to outnumber the contemporary ones, especially on holidays when some of the churches will switch to a completely traditional format. Ironic that the Christian denominations with the contemporary views tend to have the most traditional services, whereas the Christian churches with high A/V technology tend to be theologically closer than Calvin.
  10. KatieC

    KatieC So peaceful

    Speaking as an Anglican (Church of England/Episcopalian) I think I am fairly liberal in my feelings but totally traditional in my choice of services. When my church (attended since childhood) switched entirely to contemporary services, I stopped going. I was never comfortable with the whole, shaking hands, Peace be with you, part - to me it comes across as phoney, but I also always considered myself Protestant, not Catholic, regardless of what the Nicene Creed says. We've had female ministers for probably the last 30 years and all but one of them I liked very much. The one I didn't care for was the one who changed all the services to contemporary. My friends suggested I shop around for a new church too, but I haven't gotten around to it yet.
  11. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

    Even Catholic churches often offer contemporary worship- their Life Teen masses. It's still the same mass, but with a rock band. However, since I'm looking at churches that do this, maybe it was a gateway drug. Of course, I'm moving churches more over tolerance issues than music.

    One nice thing is even the 'mega churches' here have fewer than 200 people at a service. There just isn't a population here to support a mega church.
  12. heckles

    heckles Well-Known Member

    The advantage of mega-churches is that you can find exactly your demographic, if that's what you want. Singles over age 50 have a group specific to that...Mexican food fans have a Monday night group...more power to them, if it's fun for them.
  13. agalisgv

    agalisgv Well-Known Member

    Here's my suggestion for you--try a Disciples of Christ church. Here's one in the area:

    The denomination is liberal, and has formal connections to UCC. But it tends to have a more traditional worship service that would feel familiar to you. They have communion every Sunday like Catholics do. They are a small denomination, but extremely social justice oriented, so tend to have many programs and ministries to get involved in whatever the size of the congregation. And if you want to feel intellectually fed, the Disciples have one of the strongest intellection/scholarly traditions of any denomination out there. Think of them like the Jesuits. A very learned clergy, and they appeal to very learned congregations. Many of your top theological/divinity schools in the US are actually affiliated with the Disciples (eg. Yale, University of Chicago, Texas Christian University, etc.) because of that long scholarly tradition. They have no credo statements except that they believe in Christ and communion--everything else is open for debate. You can have some conservative folk, and some extremely liberal, but they all fit in within the belief system of the denomination.

    Anyhow, you might want to give it a try. Ditto for elkask8.

    ETA: I'm not a member of the Disciples of Christ denomination btw--just my own .02 on what I think might be a good fit for you.
  14. sk8pics

    sk8pics Well-Known Member

    The word "catholic" in the Nicene creed means "universal" not Roman Catholic. It is always written with a small c, not the capital C.
  15. victorskid

    victorskid Skating supporter

    I didn't mean that we are unusual in respecting leaders of other faiths, but rather that we recognize and respect the Pope, as a faith leader, but do not follow his directives.

    By the way, I deliberately wrote the word catholic with a small "c" as referenced in the Nicene Creed, ie. meaning universal and not Roman Catholic.
  16. sk8pics

    sk8pics Well-Known Member

    Thank you for the clarification. Yes, I know the distinction between the words catholic and Catholic. I know a lot of people who do not understand that, though.
  17. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

    I grew up in that denomination. It is extremely important to know that they value the independence of the local church above all else. The result is that while some are very liberal and tolerant, some are preaching evangelical theology and conservative politics and no one anywhere is going to intervene on either side. My aunt and uncle's Disciples church is exceedingly liberal and social justice oriented. The church my mother and her siblings grew up in later had a pastor with no degree of any kind that I once heard preach a sermon about how God set the Bible up so that the verses numbered "3:16" were all more important than the rest (a thesis that holds up for all of the three seconds it takes you to look up a random verse with that number). A Disciples church near my parents' house functions like an evangelical mega-church complete with conservative politics.

    In other words, a Disciples church is going to be like rolling dice.