Can anyone suggest a demonination? A specific church in my area? I would really appreciate it if anyone could help. I know I could just try them out, go church hunting, but I'm just frozen by this fear and worry.
I'm considering going to a UU church, I've heard wonderful things about them, but I'd like more options...
Thanks so much for any help
Editted to add: I also want a place that is good with children, as I have one on the way
For the past two weeks, we've been going to the UU services. The kids *LOVE* it! I've really enjoyed it, too and I've learned a lot. The people (at both services) were very open and friendly, excited to see the community grow. There are more kids at the UU church (total:6) so that's where we'll stay for now, but I'm seriously thinking of alternating services (too bad they're at the same time).
Good luck in finding your spritual home!
This is their website http://www.religiousscience.org/ .
They are more spiritual then Christian, but they usually base the lessons on the bible, and above all, they are always positively focused.
This is today's affirmation http://www.scienceofmind.com/site/af...ons/aff13.html
DH and I really like Vinyard (sp? it's late forgive me) The structure of that denomination is pretty relaxed, it is kinda a blue jeans and t-shirts place KWIM? I will warn you though that it is charismatic (you know, dancing and speaking in tounges) all of the churches are different...but that is pretty standard in charismatic curcles....
I will ask DH if he knows of any good churches in your area, he is good with that sort of thing.
It's supportive but there are Christians of different backgrounds there (nice because everyone's accepted) but, in our church, there are Ezzoites but the Pastor doesn't want any part of such stuff.
Generally a nice mixture of people.
Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
14yo ds 11yo dd 9yo ds and 7yo ds and 2yo ds
Oh yes and if anyone else has more suggestions please feel free to still add to the list! The more options the better!
We have been to a lot of different denoms and have spent too long studying the different aspects of them and also trying to find one that is friendly to our kids. WHat we have finally come back to is the Episcopal church. More liberal, very holy and traidtional beautiful service, they love kids. The denomination as a whole is struggling with the homosexuality issue and some bishops are going forward to ordain the homosexual and bless unions. The do ordain females and divroced people./ There is just a lot of grace within the denomination.
Presbyterain USA(sorry I cant stop to correct spelling, I have a crying baby) and United Methodist are both more liberal and they often do include a contemporary service.
I have kept my opinion to myself on a couple of issues. I'm not quite sure where they stand but let sleeping dogs lie so to speak.
Not the best but considering the alternatives....
I think the main objective of any church is to be fed...and grow spiritually, so while it isn't a good idea to just go to any ol' church willy-nilly I personally don't see a problem going to a church b/c you like the services. Why oh why would you go to a church that you didn't like the services?
I think it is perfectly acceptable to attend a church for awhile if it makes you feel good, especially since you have been burned more than once, and once you feel better about churches...start seeking out churches that are more *exact* in what you believe.
I would venture to say that none of us goes to a church that believes exactly what we believe all the time....you take in the good and throw out the bad.
|I think maybe you (and me as I am really searching righ now too) need to think about why you want to go to church and what you believe.|
Armed with sources of churches who fit that requirement, I can hunt on the web for at least a run down of their beliefs, and hopefully find a website for the churches in my area. Then I can see if they seem to ring true to me, might be a good fit, ect.
I do want a more liberal church to attend, and being able to think for myself is a big deal too (If I disagree with what a verse means in the bible, I want people to be willing to discuss it with me. Not just a polite "shut up, this is right you're wrong, God will smote you if you keep questioning me" kind of response). I want a place that can teach my future children about God and Jesus in a loving manner (I don't want them scared every sunday and petrified if they aren't perfect God won't love them anymore...).
I want to go to church so I can have a positive relationship with God. So I can learn to feel the love He has for me as well as get past my fear. So I can feel like I'm not a hypocritical Christian who hasn't walked into a church in seven years. So I can have help teaching my future children. So I can really figure out more details of the bible and really figure out exactly what I do believe! I'm a very open, liberal thinker, I love pagan religions, I know some of my dh and my lifestyle choices would be considered sinful by conservative churches (but they make sence for us). I want to find a home where its ok to be different. To not have to be mindless sheep following along blindly.
Sorry this is SO longwinded! But I figured if I could get sources of happy, loving churches I could do more research and find a place (I hope) that fits what I need (or closely matches it)... I really appreciate all the help so far!! Now if I could just find a church that does things at night instead of in the morning I'd be set! :LOL
I just wanted to throw in a little aside, to say that some people actually are members of a Church that we believe everything they believe all the time... including myself.
editing to add: This link may not actually be very helpful to you. It doesn't really break out one Christian denomination from another much. I could have sworn I took a quiz once that did that. But this ain't it.
The general views that all Mennonite churches have are: pacifism (although some of the more liberal churches are accepting of / supportive of military service), believer's baptism (but you don't have to be a baptised member to participate in the church), and an attitude of service as opposed to a bunch of lip service. I can't really even remember any "fire and brimestone" type sermons...tend to focus a lot more on "love your neighbor" type stuff. Mennonites can often be described as "hippies" before the term hippy existed. They tend to be more aware of other cultures, environmentalist, "stewardship of the land", non-materalistic. Nonviolent conflict resolution is a big deal and mission work is usually to go help people rather than go preach at people.
My church in Kansas City (a fairly small congregation) supported a park, a recycling center, a food bank and soup kitchen, and a bunch of other community support services for the area (very low income area). Also a lot of "habitat for humanity" stuff. Often the LLL meetings will be held in Mennonite churches and the church often has more people with AP parenting styles than mainstream.
There are a few "stick up the butt" conservative churches too, the ones that are trying to oppose recognition of gay marriages, so if you run into one of those churches, just move on, there are much better ones out there.
The following is a link to the local conference ( a links page for further information)
Not a big information site, but has addresses and stuff so you could contact local churches and find out what their church culture is like.http://www.pacificsouthwest.org/
edited to add link
Mom to 10yo Autistic Wonder Boy and 6yo Inquisitive Fireball Girl . December birthdays.
I hope that you find a church where you feel free to worship God, be fed His Word, and fellowship with other believers.
Another good way to ease back into a church environment would be to join Bible Study Fellowship. It's non-denomenational and a way for all types of people (unbelievers, "baby" Christians, to Bible scholars) to study the Word in a meaningful way. Then you could talk to the ladies in your group about which churches they attend and get a better feel for things. It's just an idea. The website is www.bsfinternational.org
And BTW, many churches are beginning to offer services at times other than Sun. am, like Fri and Sat night! Very convenient and relaxed, usually.
OK, so this wasn't short!
Our church is quite liberal. Women are ordained and participate fully in the governance of the church. The services are positive and upbeat. It is very child oriented. There is some variation from congregation to congregation, so you might want to visit a few different churches.
|What is/are Awanas?|
Basically, it is a program to make scripture memory fun for kids. There is a time for games and total chaos and there is a section of time for working on your notebooks, learning scripture, and reciting it to the leaders. That's kind of the serious time. You're supposed to work on your notebook stuff during the week and bring it to Awana. But it is kind of like Boy/Girl Scouts in that you have uniforms, separate age groups, and earn badges and things for different activies. And the activities and all are geared to be developmentally appropriate. Anyway, it's LOTS of fun for most kids and the adults involved (my dad's a leader!). The website is lots more helpful in telling what it's about! My FIL believes it is a good marker for a great church b/c it shows the church cares about kids, reaching out the community, evangelism, and being solid in Scripture!
Makes me sad because I would have seriously considered them when I was searching for a church but I had little ones at that time, little ones who wanted to be with mom and dad.
They were *good* and *quiet* but the people there had strict no child policies.
Sort of "back of the bus" for kiddos.
Just makes me sad.
In reading about what you're looking for in a church, I wanted to again encourage you to check out The Vineyard. I attend (and am very active in) the Vineyard Church here. Vineyards are part of the Association of Vineyard Churches, and are non-denominational. Things that others have encouraged you to find, like small groups, are an essential part of the Vineyard.
I can't speak for all Vineyard churches, because they'll obviously all be somewhat different, but you can count on sound biblical teachings, casual, welcoming atmosphere, etc. The National Director of the Vineyard is actually my pastor here in Sugar Land. Our church has wonderful children's programs, is very welcoming of anyone and everyone, regardless of where you are personally and spiritually, and has regular "baby booms," which makes us all quite open to kids!
Here's a link to the Vineyard USA website, where you can look for churches in your area. There are often several in major metro areas (I've lost count of how many there are in the Houston area now). http://www.vineyardusa.org/churches/churches_index.htm
I hope this helps! Let us know what you find in your search!
HeatherB ~ mama to 3 wonderful boys: 03/02; 09/04; 09/07 - and Eliana, 11/13/10!
Founder of Houston Birth Alternatives: Be Informed, Encouraged, Supported birth support group and aspiring midwife.
So I shall keep gently working on Dh to help make a desicion of which churchs he likes, so we can get moving!
I'll update everyone when there is more to speak about.
Again, I *DO* SOOOOOOOOO appreciate all the avenues to look down, and all the options you've presented to me. Thank you SO much!
I do want to suggest a service to you ~ perhaps not to be your "regular" church but for a rather unusual, yet fascinating and wonderful on-the- cutting-edge Episcopal liturgy (I went there several times when I was writing a paper on liturgy styles). It is on Portrero Hill in San Francisco and it is called St. Gregory's of Nyssa. Since your dh likes websites here is theirs:
Try it, there is nothing quite like it! In fact, it is kind of a "test case" for liturgy and you will usually find ministers from all over the country there checking it out.