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Neither my husband nor I were raised in a church. My mother had us join a Presbyterian church when I was in high school, but neither of us go anymore. They stopped allowing gays to be pastors, and it really turned us off. But that's the closest either of us have gotten. We were raised Christian, if you want to call it that, but we don't know very much about Christianity, to be honest. We both like the story of Jesus, but to be honest we're very ignorant when it comes to any religion.<br><br>
But somehow, we've decided that we'd like to try going to a church. I like the idea of raising my children with others who hold similar values and beliefs, and it's something my husband and i want to explore. This sounds stupid, but I did the belief.net quiz about what religion you are, and it came up 100% mainstream-liberal Christian, which is what my dh is interested in too.<br><br>
So how do we know which church to try? And is it ok that we don't know very much? I'm not a very heady person when it comes to spirituality, it is more of an emotional experience for me. I know very little about the Bible.<br><br>
We are looking for a church that welcomes everyone, doesn't try to convert others, is focused on love, and views Jesus as someone we whose example we can follow in our daily lives.<br><br>
I'm interested in the Episcopal church, but I have never been to a mass (?).<br><br>
Any suggestions, experience, or anything?
 

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I don't have any experience with the episcipal church, but I was a convert as an adult. I never went to church, but during high school I wanted to. My parents said 'when you get to college, you can do what you want'...so the first day I was there, I asked some people I met where they went. They took me to the Catholic church they went to. One thing led to another and I ended up really enjoying it and joined the church while in college.<br><br>
Good luck with your search! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Your religious upbringing sounds very simliar to mine.<br><br>
You would probably feel at home in most mainline Protestant churches. Try out the United Methodist, Presbyterian (USA), Episcopal, or Lutheran churches in your area until you find one that feels right. The Methodist and Presbyterian sevices (the "order of worship") would probably be more familiar to you, considering your background, b/c Lutheran and Episcopal services are a little more "high church."<br><br>
You may also want to get a copy of the Bible in an accessible translation, such as the NIV or NRSV. THe NIV Student Bible has a lot of helpful insights and annotations.
 

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I'm exhausted & on my way to bed, but wanted to ask if you've done the "belief-o-matic" quiz over at beliefnet.com You answer questions about your beliefs and it will give you a list of religions that match up.
 

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My suggestion, if you are mainline liberal Christian would not be Episcopalian or Luthern or Catholic, not that they are bad, but they are not what you are looking for. I would first, before anything else, try a Non-Denominational Christian church to get a good rounded feel for what Christianity is. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> There are other denominations that you can look into later and learn more about, and decide for yourself. It will take time, but honestly a non-denominational church would be an excellent starting point. *hugs* and love in Christ! Good luck, I'll be praying for you both!!<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Do you know any Christians IRL? Ask about their churches. I've also found it helpful to check out the websites of the churches that I'm interested in. It will give you an idea of what they are like and help you to narrow down your choices so that you are not stuck visiting a ton of churches.
 

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Hey, I hope I can help you a bit with sharing my experience. DH was raised as a Catholic but abandoned it as an adult. I had some church experience as an on-again, off-again Episcopalian. Neither one of us were very happy in either of those denominations. It's hard to explain how we felt, but we never really felt like any church in any of those denominations were "home". We raised our oldest son as a Catholic with the First Communion, First Confession, all that stuff, but didn't really buy into all the Catholic church taught. We found most Episcopal churches too "stuffy". A year or so ago, we found a church that was a church plant (off-shoot church) of a local Baptist church. We finally felt at "home" after all those years. We made some good friends, even though, theologically, we're not always on the same page. We are free to have our own mind and our own thoughts and learned a lot about the Bible that we didn't before. I found the women's Bible studies very friendly and we felt like we had been born again. We got baptised by immersion and don't regret it.<br><br>
I still have my own personal beliefs that don't always align with our fundamentalist friends' beliefs, but that's OK. What matters is that we are happy in church and have fellowship that we never had before. We feel that church isn't a political arena anyway.<br><br>
I'm not trying to steer you away from some of the more liberal or mainstream churches. Just don't rule out other options.
 

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Personally, I would not think I was a Christian (despite belief-o-matic) and had any insight into what church to attend, until I had read the entire Bible.<br><br>
But then again, so few Xtians actually have read the Bible, beyond a few choice verses.
 

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My opinion may not be popular, but you do realize that the story of Jesus is not just a "story"? He died to give us life and hope everlasting. If you are trying to choose a church that isn't into converting people than it is not one Jesus would have attended. He did not sacrifice his life on the cross so that we would have a neat story to listen to and recant though the ages. He did it because he loves us more than we will ever fathom, He did it so that we can live with him eternally.<br><br>
Knowing the "story" and being saved by Grace through faith are two very different things.<br><br>
Believing in Jesus is not about "religion" it is a personal relationship with your Lord and Saviour more than anything else. There is a huge difference between head knowledge and a true transformation in your life from a living God who cares very much about you and isn't just a "nice idea".<br><br>
What are you really looking for? Jesus was not politically correct nor are his followers. Being a follower of Christ does not mean you blend in with the world, but that you go against the flow.<br><br>
It does not matter what you know or don't know. If you are in a good church home they will lead you with love and never belittle you. Jesus loves us each right where we are...while gently growing and changing us to be more like Him. He is a gentleman. I hope that you find a church home that will show you His love in a true way.<br><br>
I pray that God gives you wisdom as you seek a house of worship.
 

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Trishas Tribe, pls refer to the Spirituality Forum rules. IMO there is a thin line between sharing of faith and proselytizing. I think you may have crossed it!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Knowing the "story" and being saved by Grace through faith are two very different things.</td>
</tr></table></div>
trisha, your post seemed kind of harsh to me. i know that me saying that we "liked the story of Jesus" sounds pretty weak. but seriously, where are we supposed to start? this is both pretty new to us. the converting comment came from times that i was told i was going to hell because i had not been saved as a kid, or slapped across the face for it. i know these are not examples of the ways to convert that jesus would have used, obviously, but you should know that this is what comes to mind when my husband and i talk about our experiences. it scares us. where we are from, there is so much judgement and hypocrisy tied to it all. we became very cynical. but we have been through too much to know that there is not a God, and are ready to explore this in depth. maybe you're right, maybe this is too weak of a start for us to begin going to church.<br>
i feel something really calling me to explore this more, and my husband has been feeling it to. we just started talking about it, although both of us have silently been feeling this way.
 

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I understand what trisha was trying to say. She was just explaining that there is a differnce between knowing the story of Jesus and having a personal relationship with him. If you like what you've hard about jesus I would say you're "seeking" and that is good. I would agree with reading the Bible. You can start with the Matthew, Mark , Luke and John to get a good idea of who Jesus is. I would read I John after that.<br><br>
Finding a church that is a good fit can be difficult. I don't have any great suggestions , although I like Evangelical Free churches.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">It does not matter what you know or don't know. If you are in a good church home they will lead you with love and never belittle you. Jesus loves us each right where we are...while gently growing and changing us to be more like Him. He is a gentleman. I hope that you find a church home that will show you His love in a true way.</td>
</tr></table></div>
ITA with that.
 

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Taken from the forum rules " We will not restrict disscussions to persons of the faith being discussed." I am NOT trying to convert her at all!! She already said she believes in Jesus and I was continuing that discussion. If Mamaley was Muslim...I certainly would stay out of this thread. She is discussing Christianity and so am I. I certainly didn't mean to cross any lines and I am sorry if what I wrote caused offense.<br><br>
Mamaley...Please don't think I was trying to be harsh or judgemental at all!! I think that it is wonderful that you and your DH are looking for more in your lives. I feel horridly that I may have made you feel as if you don't know enough. None of us...even the most knowledeable theologians can even begin to understand the mysteries of God and all that He is. Right where you are is the best place to start!!<br><br>
I think the ways with which you have been approached with the gospel of Jesus are less than perfect by far!! I guess I was just trying to encourage you to look to Him in your Faith instead of people. People will always dissapoint...because we are human...He never will : )<br><br>
I am sorry if I did not convey that in my post.<br><br>
Blessings,<br>
Trisha
 

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<i>moderator's note:<br>
Some posts in this thread are really close to breaking the <a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=65485" target="_blank">Spirituality Forum rules</a>. I am going to leave the thread here for now, but let this be a warning that if things get ugly or if I feel there has been a blatant disregard for the rules I will be forced to lock and/or remove this thread from this forum.<br><br>
If you ever see something that appears to break the rules, you can use the "report bad post" feature - click on that little red triangle beside the post in question. HTH</i>
 
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