Help me figure out what church to go to. Not sure even of my religion. - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-25-2011, 08:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am looking to attend a church for the community and also to be renewed weekly. I was a mormon, but left that and want to attend a different church. Her is what I believe and is there a church close to these beliefs?

I am a pagan mystic christian and into Jesus more than the rest of the bible but open to the great teachings there.
I am very much into earthy spirituality and feel great when just simply going for a walk outside.
I also believe that there are other paths that people are on like Buddhists, Jewish, etc (you get what I mean) that are just right for them and no judgment to them. I don't mind learning about them either. I thought the UU church would be good but I need to hear about Jesus more than I think the UU church would talk about. Not sure anyway as I have never actually attended it.
I am more into the orthodox view of salvation that the Protestant view. I think that no matter what God is always there. And I don't want a controlling church that beats into your head that you are not getting into heaven if you don't do XYZ. I believe that is personal.

So is there a match? I really don't know what other churches believe since I was only mormon my whole life living in a bubble. I am ready for something new. Thanks for your help!
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Old 04-25-2011, 11:27 AM
 
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By "orthodox" view of salvation, are you talking about Eastern Orthodox Christianity or something else? If it's the first, it's "Big O" Orthodoxy. wink1.gif

If you are attracted to the Orthodox Christian view of salvation, have you thought about seeing if there is an Orthodox parish near you, attending a Vespers (evening prayer service of Psalms and hymns) service and talking with the priest. Two good basic books to check out are "The Orthodox Church" and "The Orthodox Way" both by Bishop Kallistos Ware, an Englishman who converted to Orthodoxy.

PM if you have any questions.

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Old 05-09-2011, 09:06 PM
 
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You know I understand where you are coming from =). If I wasn't in my current Spirit-filled evangelical fellowship I am drawn to Coptic Orthodoxy, ecumenical (do not adhere to the authority of Rome) Catholic churches (we have a great one where we live that we want to visit, they have a woman priest), UU (though moreso in the old school vein of Universalism which was very Christ and Bible based just taught universal salvation, UU has amalgamated more so you really wouldn't get much "Bible" at all there), etc.

 

Mostly though I have been drawn to Progressive Mennonites for years now. DH and I have always been bummed there is not a fellowship closer than 2 hours away from us. In the larger scale of the Reformation the Anabaptist Radical Reformation was drowned out, but there has always been another voice than that of Martin Luther's and Protestantism. DH and I have believed in non-violence for several years now while no evangelical church we went to around here taught it, so we always longed for a peace church fellowship. The Progressive Mennonites are now kind of excommunicated from the Conservative Mennonites since they allow full-inclusion of LGBTQ and are focused on social justice (and don't have any dress and lifestyle requirements like other factions). I doubt you would experience much judgement there, and would be able to delve into Christ and the Bible. Hopefully you have one near you you can check out =).

 

I also love the Quakers/Brethen/Friends Meetings (which also sprung from the Anabaptist roots like the Mennonites), but their Meetings can vary greatly in theology and practice from basically evangelical to universalist who don't use the Bible at all. I love that their roots were that Christ indwells everyone and there is no need for an intermediary (ie clergy), and in the Meetings they just waited for the Holy Spirit and anyone could share.

 

Anywho, just some thoughts. Blessings on your journey, sister. If you ever move to the Palm Springs area of California you know who you could fellowship with =).


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Old 05-10-2011, 04:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Awe, Nichole, I wish we lived closer.

I have looked up the closest Orthodox church and it is pretty far away. I may just check it out sometime.

We do have plenty of menonites here but they are all the hard core traditional ones. I hear the meetings are very strict.

I wish there was a church in the woods or that went for hikes. That would be neat.
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Old 05-10-2011, 10:10 AM
 
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Probably the next safest bets would be anything mainline. Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Methodist.  They are liturgical and though you won't agree with everything they are not controlling and abusive. Some branches are even full-inclusive of LGBT and have women clergy. Even as DH and I have been evangelicals we have attended the Black Friday service at our local Episcopal church (which is full-inclusive) and just love the liturgy.

 

I'd advise to steer clear of non-denominationals especially Calvary Chapel or charismatic churches. They often are very warm and welcoming at first but preach sola scriptura, specifically their leader's interpretation of it and expect you to eventually adhere to a whole list of doctrines: wives submitting to husbands, you must believe in the rapture, the Republican Party and America is blessed by God or charismatics expecting you to hear from God and obey or else you are "out of His will" and less holy, blah. By nature they end up being controlling and cult-like because the Pastor has WAAAAY too much power, whereas in mainline denominations the Pastor answers to the denomination at large, the church body votes, there are Assistant Clergy to keep him/her in check, etc. Those are my experiences anyways =(.


Happily married to DH for 6 years, in process to foster-adopt 3 children DD4, DS3 and DS2. We may be bringing half brother age 9 one day as well! We are not infertile, we just have decided that since there are precious children who need homes there is no need for us to have biological children.

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Old 05-10-2011, 10:28 AM
 
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UU vary a lot. Some have a smaller more Christian group within the congregation. Might be worth will to give them a try

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Old 05-11-2011, 05:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Nichole for warning about the non denomiational churches.

Chel, I sure hope there is a bit of a christianity in the local UU. Thanks!
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Old 05-11-2011, 07:00 AM
 
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I think you would enjoy the Orthodox Liturgy.  However, I don't think it is really what you are looking for.  Your personal beliefs do not really line up much with Orthodox doctrine.  The Orthodox church also has pretty conservative doctrines and such.  One is expected to follow church teaching and be transformed into a follower rather than following their own path.  It sounds a bit more rigid than what you are looking for in a home.  You would probably enjoy visiting quite a bit though.  And of course talking to a priest would definitely be a better place to start than talking to me LOL   You would also likely enjoy chatting with or even forming a relationship with a priest or monastic community.  There is lot to be gained from these things even if you are not a member of the community.

 

I agree with a previous poster though, a liberal thinking mainline denomination would be a good bet for you.  Churchy while still being more fluid and accepting of what yo believe, accept and practice.    Lots of denominational oversight can be a very good thing.  I also agree the last place you want to end up is an independent evangelical church.  You would not likely click there although they do have a lot of fun programs usually, all programs are generally designed to convert you.  


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Old 05-11-2011, 08:39 AM
 
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My first reco would be to try the local UU church.  It might be more Jesus-focused than you think.  There really is a wide-variety.

 

I second the recommendation of a more progressive mainline denomination as your next best bet.  I enjoyed attending some Episcopal and Presbyterian churches back when I was a Christian.

 

I attended LDS services with friends, and from what I remember, the hymns were all very traditional.  Know that today, you usually have a choice between churches that offer more traditional hymns and those which have "contemporary" praise & worship.  Some churches will even offer both... say... traditional at 9 am and contemporary at 11 a.m.  I grew up in a very fuddy duddy traditional Presbyterian church, and have to say, I really enjoyed the more contemporary worship. (Part of it probably had to do with my being a horrible singer, and being able to "sing" to the contemporary stuff a lot better. :))


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Old 05-12-2011, 05:00 PM
 
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I have been going to a United Church of Christ church since last year and LOVE it. www.ucc.org

Here is some info from their website http://www.ucc.org/about-us/new-to-the-ucc.html

 

Very progressive and supportive of other faiths. Our church recently became "Open and Affirming" which is the highest level of inclusion for GLBT people in the church- welcoming them fully into all aspects of the ministry. In many ways the church is "traditional" with roots in congregationalism and Bible based services but they are so progressive in fighting for social justice and being welcoming to all people. Our church has a very active child and youth program and my four year old has been doing choir and loves it. We do many interfaith programs with leaders of the Muslim and Jewish faiths in our town. Feel free to PM me w/ any other questions!


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Old 06-14-2011, 11:57 AM
 
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i'm right in there with you on this! 

we tried a local united church of christ last week and had a great time, in a lucky accident it was the summer bbq day too so great for kids too. met more people than in the whole time at the other church and they were actually interested in who I am and what I do for a career too!

the only thing that worries me is that the congregation is very small and much, much older, dd is the youngest but would be in w/ the big kids (6ish+). this could be good for her though too, as long as there's playing, coloring, and singing i think she'll be fine. she was the big girl at the other church's baby room and while that's alright it wasn't very stimulating playing by herself while a room full of crying infants is fussed over.

i think we'll try them again on a normal sunday too but for now we're playing the field i guess and seeing what our options are. i would love to find something based in peace and goodwill to others, is that too much to ask?


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Old 06-15-2011, 07:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I guess I could check out the local UCOC in my area. VTmomma, where are you located in VT?
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Old 06-15-2011, 12:08 PM
 
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we're in l.c. bluebirdmama. they seem to be pretty widespread, but i'm hardly an expert on any of thiswinky.gif.


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Old 06-23-2011, 09:39 PM
 
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You might be interested in checking out a Unity church (this is not the same as Unitarian Universalist) - the denomination has a website www.unity.org that you can check out.  They are a metaphysical church so have a different interpretation of many things in the Bible, but talk about Jesus and use the Bible as well as other wisdom texts on occasion.  Jesus is viewed as a wayshower and teacher who fully realized his human potential (which we all have).  Unity acknowledged that there are many paths to God and respects other religions.

 

I attended a Unity church for a couple of years and found it to be a very inclusive and welcoming community. 

 

 

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Old 07-05-2011, 12:59 AM
 
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Bahai? http://www.bahai.org/

 

I don't know much about it, but it might mesh more with some of your beliefs. It probably doesn't talk about Jesus as much as you'd like.


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Old 07-05-2011, 06:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I tried the UU church last week finally and it was a dud. I guess they have summer break and only 3 people showed up. I am not giving up, but I now have all summer to try different churches.
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Old 07-05-2011, 06:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Just researching the UCOC, I am loving it. Found one not too far away and may check it out Sunday...
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Old 07-05-2011, 06:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Check this out!
http://www.oma-ucc.org/
Outdoor worship with the UCOC!

Edit- whoa it is crazy expensive to join.
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Old 07-10-2011, 03:36 PM
 
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I went to a Unitarian Universalist church a few Sundays ago.. I really enjoyed it, but it was bazaar.. it was set up like a normal, Christian service might be, but there was absolutely no talk of religion. They sang non-religious hymns, standing and sitting.. lit a chalice, people were invited to come up and light a candle and share a happiness or sorrow with the crowd.

 

Everyone wears name tags, which is nice!

 

They had a guest speaker from a human rights organization specializing in helping asylum seekers, it was very interesting, and they donated the offering plate to that organization.

 

I can see myself going back, especially for my children's sake, but it is a little odd.. a non-religious Church?

 

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Old 07-10-2011, 03:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicolelynn View Post

 Even as DH and I have been evangelicals we have attended the Black Friday service at our local Episcopal church (which is full-inclusive) and just love the liturgy.

 


This caught my eye.  What is a Black Friday service?  I'm only familiar with black Friday as that big shopping day after Thanksgiving in the US.

 

I have a friend who tried the UU church and didn't really like it, but loves the Unity Church.  http://unity.org/  Most everyone else I know who goes to the UU church loves it, however.

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Old 07-10-2011, 04:33 PM
 
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I'm Quaker and my views seem similar to yours. I attend a small, liberal, Christian meeting in New England and I love it. The funny thing is that after I converted to Quakerism, I took this quiz and it told me that my views are liberal Quaker. I recommend the quiz for those that don't really know which religions to explore and find it to be a valuable guide, a sort of jumping off point.

 

http://www.beliefnet.com/Entertainment/Quizzes/BeliefOMatic.aspx

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Old 07-10-2011, 04:36 PM
 
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 I wish there was a church in the woods or that went for hikes. That would be neat.


This reminds me of a beautiful day last summer when our Quaker Meeting decided to have worship sprawled out on the lawn, enjoying the sunshine. :-)

 

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Old 07-10-2011, 05:16 PM
 
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Consider visiting you local Zen Center. There is no beating over the head, that is for sure.  Just sit for a meditation period and see how it feels.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koalamom View Post

I am looking to attend a church for the community and also to be renewed weekly. I was a mormon, but left that and want to attend a different church. Her is what I believe and is there a church close to these beliefs?

I am a pagan mystic christian and into Jesus more than the rest of the bible but open to the great teachings there.
I am very much into earthy spirituality and feel great when just simply going for a walk outside.
I also believe that there are other paths that people are on like Buddhists, Jewish, etc (you get what I mean) that are just right for them and no judgment to them. I don't mind learning about them either. I thought the UU church would be good but I need to hear about Jesus more than I think the UU church would talk about. Not sure anyway as I have never actually attended it.
I am more into the orthodox view of salvation that the Protestant view. I think that no matter what God is always there. And I don't want a controlling church that beats into your head that you are not getting into heaven if you don't do XYZ. I believe that is personal.

So is there a match? I really don't know what other churches believe since I was only mormon my whole life living in a bubble. I am ready for something new. Thanks for your help!


 

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Old 07-17-2011, 06:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm Quaker and my views seem similar to yours. I attend a small, liberal, Christian meeting in New England and I love it. The funny thing is that after I converted to Quakerism, I took this quiz and it told me that my views are liberal Quaker. I recommend the quiz for those that don't really know which religions to explore and find it to be a valuable guide, a sort of jumping off point.

 

http://www.beliefnet.com/Entertainment/Quizzes/BeliefOMatic.aspx


Ha, Ha! Just took the quiz, and I am a liberal quaker too. It must be rigged or we are soul sisters!
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Old 07-17-2011, 06:21 AM
 
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Ha, Ha! Just took the quiz, and I am a liberal quaker too. It must be rigged or we are soul sisters!


It's not rigged. I thought your beliefs sounded a little similar to mine. My sister was a pagan according to the quiz. And that describes her perfectly. Anyway, it's a great starting point, if nothing else. It also gives you some other "top" religions, based on your answers, that you might not have thought of, to explore as you begin your journey. Best luck to you! thumb.gif

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Old 07-17-2011, 06:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So Poetry, what are quakers all about? I actually have no idea. Do I have to wear a bonnet and sit segregated form my dh? Or can I attend in jeans? The closest meeting house is about 1/2 hour away so I will try it one of these days.
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Old 07-17-2011, 07:22 AM
 
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So Poetry, what are quakers all about? I actually have no idea. Do I have to wear a bonnet and sit segregated form my dh? Or can I attend in jeans? The closest meeting house is about 1/2 hour away so I will try it one of these days.

 

It's funny because you mentioned needing more talk of Christianity than you thought you would receive in a Unitarian church. This was DH's problem with the Unitarians; he didn't hear enough about Christ.  DH and I tried out several churches and faiths before finding the Quakers. We began with the Unitarians and then worshipped with the Methodists. We attended a Baptist service once and were considering the Episcopaleans when I remembered the Quakers. My old landlords had been Quaker and seeing how they lived their lives really inspired me.   DH and I drive 45 minutes to our meeting.

 

I only know of one Quaker who wears a bonnet and she really only wears it to Meeting or gatherings with Quakers. Jeans, definitely! Quakers are about comfort, practicality and simplicity. We enjoy modern conveniences, but don't feel that we need to own the newest version of everything that comes out.

 

Quakers are about equality, including gender equality. In the old days, the men and women were separated for worship, but these days everyone worships together. Quakers were also very involved in the underground railroad. ... We believe that everyone has within them an inner light and most Quakers (but not all) refer to that light as God. Quakers are peaceful, or pacifists. We believe that we have direct access to God at all times and that we don't need a priest or other clergy as a "go-between." An example of this is at our Quaker wedding DH and I stood when we were ready and and exchanged our promises before God and our Friends. No one "declared" us married.

 

There are programmed and unprogrammed meetings. Our meeting is unprogrammed. Basically, we all sit in a room together in silent meditation or prayerful or "expectant" waiting. Occasionally, someone will stand and speak if they feel they have a message that will be beneficial for others present to hear. These messages are received in silence and reflected upon. It's uncanny how often a message someone shares seems to speak to whatever is on my heart at that moment. Programmed Meetings are similar to many protestant churches and they have pastors who give sermons.

 

I would highly recommend visiting your local Quaker meeting and seeing how it feels to you. Quakers are generally very welcoming to guests and are such a warm group of people to be in the company of.

 

ETA: The Quakers I know are very open to the idea that other people have different faiths that work for them, and as such, we're tolerant of others' views, even if we don't hold them for our own. In fact, we teach our youth about other religions and what they believe, as well as what we believe. Also, it's interesting to note that we have a buddhist gentleman who attends our meeting regularly and he is always very welcomed.

 


 

 

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Old 07-17-2011, 10:33 AM
 
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WOW. The silent meditation sounds so much like zazen in my Sotto Zen center.
 

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It's funny because you mentioned needing more talk of Christianity than you thought you would receive in a Unitarian church. This was DH's problem with the Unitarians; he didn't hear enough about Christ.  DH and I tried out several churches and faiths before finding the Quakers. We began with the Unitarians and then worshipped with the Methodists. We attended a Baptist service once and were considering the Episcopaleans when I remembered the Quakers. My old landlords had been Quaker and seeing how they lived their lives really inspired me.   DH and I drive 45 minutes to our meeting.

 

I only know of one Quaker who wears a bonnet and she really only wears it to Meeting or gatherings with Quakers. Jeans, definitely! Quakers are about comfort, practicality and simplicity. We enjoy modern conveniences, but don't feel that we need to own the newest version of everything that comes out.

 

Quakers are about equality, including gender equality. In the old days, the men and women were separated for worship, but these days everyone worships together. Quakers were also very involved in the underground railroad. ... We believe that everyone has within them an inner light and most Quakers (but not all) refer to that light as God. Quakers are peaceful, or pacifists. We believe that we have direct access to God at all times and that we don't need a priest or other clergy as a "go-between." An example of this is at our Quaker wedding DH and I stood when we were ready and and exchanged our promises before God and our Friends. No one "declared" us married.

 

There are programmed and unprogrammed meetings. Our meeting is unprogrammed. Basically, we all sit in a room together in silent meditation or prayerful or "expectant" waiting. Occasionally, someone will stand and speak if they feel they have a message that will be beneficial for others present to hear. These messages are received in silence and reflected upon. It's uncanny how often a message someone shares seems to speak to whatever is on my heart at that moment. Programmed Meetings are similar to many protestant churches and they have pastors who give sermons.

 

I would highly recommend visiting your local Quaker meeting and seeing how it feels to you. Quakers are generally very welcoming to guests and are such a warm group of people to be in the company of.

 

ETA: The Quakers I know are very open to the idea that other people have different faiths that work for them, and as such, we're tolerant of others' views, even if we don't hold them for our own. In fact, we teach our youth about other religions and what they believe, as well as what we believe. Also, it's interesting to note that we have a buddhist gentleman who attends our meeting regularly and he is always very welcomed.

 


 

 



 

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Old 07-18-2011, 11:07 PM
 
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Well, evangelicals call it Good Friday, but the Episcopal liturgy focuses on the sacrifice of Christ during that service. We started with several candles and one by one they were snuffed out during the liturgy. by the end, it was also getting dark outside, so it was almost dark in the church. It ended with the pipe organs striking a loud, dissonant tune symbolizing the death. We all filed out without talking, meditating on Christ's death.

Quite different than my evangelical upbringing which always had feel good services haha.

Happily married to DH for 6 years, in process to foster-adopt 3 children DD4, DS3 and DS2. We may be bringing half brother age 9 one day as well! We are not infertile, we just have decided that since there are precious children who need homes there is no need for us to have biological children.

nicolelynn is offline  
Old 07-18-2011, 11:13 PM
 
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And I am jealous, I would love to attend a Quaker meeting. That would probably be the closest fit for me as well. The nearest is I think about 1.5 hrs away, too much...especially while in process to welcome 3 little children into our home/family. Hope you have a blessed time Koalamom!

Happily married to DH for 6 years, in process to foster-adopt 3 children DD4, DS3 and DS2. We may be bringing half brother age 9 one day as well! We are not infertile, we just have decided that since there are precious children who need homes there is no need for us to have biological children.

nicolelynn is offline  
 
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