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Finding a Church Catholic Christian and Childrens Spirituality

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Dh and I were raised Catholic, had sacraments through confirmation, but were never married in Catholic church (we never really committed to church as adults at that point in our lives); however both our kids were baptized in a Catholic church (also we grew up in a predominantly catholic area).

 

We moved to a very conservative Christian / baptist type area. We began going to a contemporary Christian church and became very involved and I was baptized there as an adult. Things went downhill when we saw the true motives of this church's leadership, we left and have become very disheartened with this type church.

 

We have been searching for a home church for some time now. We really feel our children are not getting the spiritual foundation they should be. We agree that a catholic ccd would be good for the children. However, it would be wrong for us to commit to being a 'catholic home' when we are not, just for the kids to be a part of this class.

 

When we go to Catholic mass, it doesn't feel as beneficial as the Christian churches we've attended ... and it was pretty difficult to made it through the entire mass (I liked having tr kids with us, instead of child care, but it was rough). There was a Christian church we were attending, that we all liked okay, but they started this big marketing thing and it really turned me off.

 

I would be interested checking out UU, but there is only 1 church and it is quite far away. Just looking for some feedback, or maybe some probing questions that I haven't explored that will help me figure this out. Thanks!!

post #2 of 5

Hi,  JoannaL!

 

My DH and I were also both raised Catholic.  He made it through first communion, and I went all the way through confirmation.  We were married in a Catholic church and both our kids were baptized there.  We tried to commit to being Catholic, but we found that we couldn't agree with some of the philosophy of the church.

 

So right now we are going to a United Church of Christ.  I should say that this particular church we are attending has been around since the mid 1870's.  They have been Reformed and Evangelical, German Reformed, to name a couple.  I'm not sure exactly when they decided to become UCC.  My mom's side of the family has attended this church since the 1920's.

 

I like the UCC philosophy in general.  They are very much into EVERYONE is welcome.  A person's lifestyle choices, etc. should not be a preventative from them worshiping God.  I'm not big on "mission" work, although our church has begun some of this.  I don't mind if it is to truly help people out, but I have a problem with trying to get people to convert to Christianity.  My DH and I believe that all religion is connected and that the biggest problem is everyone saying that you have to believe only one way.

 

One thing with UCC churches is that they are very individualized.  I've not visited another, but it might be very different from where we attend.  I would be willing to attend another to see what it is like.  I know that each is governed by their own council or consistory.  They do belong to a bigger organization, but I'm not sure if that plays into it too much.

 

I understand where you are coming from.  We primarily returned to church to give our children a spiritual basis.  You should shop around until you are comfortable.  If you like the UU church, maybe you don't attend every week.  Maybe twice a month or whatever is reasonable for your family.

post #3 of 5

Yes, I think it is fine to go to church just for your children.  Of course if it something the encompasses your whole life  it will have a bigger impact on them.  It is ok to commit to being a Catholic home just for your kids.  Better if you could do it for yourselves too but if you can't, it seems very loving to do it for the kids.

 

As for church being beneficial.  Try not to look at church in terms of what you get out of it.  You are going to worship.  You are there to join into worship.  Even if you join in only for a second.  You are there to bring an offering.  Its not about you or what you get out of it.  Christ meets us in the Eucharist and gives to us through the sacraments.  But for the most part we are there to give not to receive.  Sometimes when the kids are young just showing up is an act of worship.  A sacrificial offering is made just by making the effort to get out of the door and get everyone in the car.  Pacing with a crying baby is a prayer in and of itself.  If all you can do is cross yourself and say a few prayers while out in the entry way, so be it.  You are still participating.  For now, this is your cross and your place in the holy offering.  It is not a place of "less than".  Introducing your children to Christ is a holy calling.  In order for kids to embrace worship and prayer they have to be exposed in it and allowed to participate in it.  You may not feel like progress is being made, but you have to trust that it is.  Sure you could shuffle them off to nursery and sit in church thinking about what you are getting out of it and your salvation and being fed, but how blessed is it to be at church with a bunch of kids teaching them how to pray, participating in their salvation and helping them worship in some small way, making sure they are spiritually fed.  It is only for a season.  The time will come to focus on your journey.  But for now just go to church and surrender to this season of teaching your children without concern for weather or not you or anyone else is getting anything out of it.  Just keep working with your kids and trust that God is big enough to work miracles in the midsts of what looks like chaos to us.


Edited by lilyka - 2/8/11 at 4:00pm
post #4 of 5

Lilyka, thanks so much for this! We've entered a Church in the last year where the kids are with us rather than in the nursery, and it is so hard most Sundays, but this is a wonderful reminder of the real reason we go to worship and the gift it is to our kids to be a part of it. Thank you!

post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyka View Post

Yes, I think it is fine to go to church just for your children.  Of course if it something the encompasses your whole life  it will have a bigger impact on them.  It is ok to commit to being a Catholic home just for your kids.  Better if you could do it for yourselves too but if you can't, it seems very loving to do it for the kids.

 

As for church being beneficial.  Try not to look at church in terms of what you get out of it.  You are going to worship.  You are there to join into worship.  Even if you join in only for a second.  You are there to bring an offering.  Its not about you or what you get out of it.  Christ meets us in the Eucharist and gives to us through the sacraments.  But for the most part there we are there to give not to receive.  Sometimes when the kids are young just showing up is an act of worship.  A sacrificial offering is made just by making the effort to get out of the door and get everyone in the car.  Pacing with a crying baby is a prayer in and of itself.  If all you can do is cross yourself and say a few prayers while out in the entry way so be it.  You are still participating.  For now, this is your cross and your place in the holy offering.  It is not a place of "less than".  i.introducing your children to Christ is a holy calling.  In order for kids to embrace worship and prayer they have to be exposed in it and allowed to participate in it.  You may not feel like progress is being made but you have to trust that it is.  Sure you could shuffle them off to nursery and sit in church thinking about what you are getting out of it and your salvation and being fed but how blessed is it to be at church with a bunch of kids teaching them how to pray, participating in their salvation and helping them worship in some small way, making sure they are spiritually fed.  It is only for a season.  The time will come to focus on your journey.  But for now just go to church and surrender to this season of teaching your children without concern for weather or not you or anyone else is getting anything out of it.  Just keep working with your kids and trust that God is big enough to work miracles in the midsts of what looks like chaos to us.


Wow...this is a wonderful post.

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