Sunday, December 16, 2007

On Church...

I'm trying to find a church. I don't currently attend church very regularly. Okay that was an understatement. I rarely go. I want to but I just have a hard time finding a church that fits.

First I'm not interested in church related drama. My experience has been that there is as much gossip and backstabbing in some churches as out in the world. I also don't want a 'preacher' that is going to give hour diatribes about sin, who's sinning and the hell that they are going to.

I crave lessons not admonishment.

Also I don't want a church that gets bogged down with politics or one that is trying to be in lock-step with White right wing evangelical churches.

What I'm really craving is a church and a person of God that delivers a message of how to incorporate spirituality into my daily life. I want to learn how to use religious text to navigate the complexities of life in this new century.

So I'm on the hunt for a church. I would really like to find a church with a woman pastor. That's not easy. Men dominate the pulpit it seems. I think the right woman would be able to understand the difficulties that women face in today's world. Especially single women.

I think one of my goals for the new year is to find a progressive church and became apart of that community.

I wonder if I should look outside of traditional churches. Maybe even other religions.

Do you have a hard time finding a church that feels like "home"? Also do you think that a woman is better able to minister to woman?

If you were raised in the Christian church would you or have you as an adult considered other religions?




Art Attribution: "Going To Church" by William H. Johnson

16 comments:

Symphony said...

Goodness, this is what I was thinking this morning.

I am the same way. And I would rather be without a church than deal with the craziness that msny churches have (and even encourage).

I was watching Joel Osteen this morning. I know many people feel he doesnt preach the bible but to me he's is a very powerful entity in bringing people to religion.

He's like a transitional phase. And I think he knows he brings in a lot of people who are not already into religion because he says to find a good bible-based church.

But I'm still looking for a "home" too and I want that for my son. As a single mother I'm all about having by son around positive people (that goes for me too, by the way). Like is too short to be consumed and surrounded by those who don't uplift you.

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

dont worry, church is the people and not the building, and my criteria is the chior-good luck or should i say god luck

Lisa said...

Up until last year, I had always belonged to the church my dad pastored. A year after he died, I decided that it was time for me to find another church home. . . that was so difficult for me. I finally found a church home last November, but I did a whole lot of searching. I went to Bible studies and outings with churches I was really interested in joining, cause Sunday service only tells one side of the story. The jury is still out with me about having a female as a pastor - there are female ministers at the church I belong to - but there were none at my dad's church.

Mes Deux Cents said...

Hi Symphony,

Sometimes I watch televangelists. Occasionally I like the message they have. Although I will admit I don't always trust their true motives.

I hope that you and you're son find a good church home. I hope the same for myself.




Hi Torrance,

Thanks for the encouragement.





Hi Lisa,

Why aren’t you sure about woman pastors?

Wow that must have been really difficult to leave your dad's church.

Thanks for mentioning that church is more than just the Sunday service. I'll have to explore what the churches are up to during the week.

Miriam said...

Hi MDC,

I hope I don't get burned at the black blogospheric stake for saying this but I switched over religion.

I was raised christian. But I think majority of people can't do such a thing -its almost impossible to refute something that was taught at such a young age.

Anyway, I hope you find your church home. I think spirituality really reveals/gives an added dimension to life.

Nina MM said...

I wish you the luck that I haven't had. I'm all for Christ...can't take the church.

Jackie said...

A few years ago, Monica and I went church shopping. Our criteria was much the same as you describe. After attending many weeks each at several churches we found our home. It is a United Church of Christ (UCC). It was actually funny how quickly we felt at ease and at home with these people and the co-ministers, a married couple. We loved, at our particular church, the racial and cultural diversity, and the UCC open and affirming attitudes especially on GLBT issues. I gotta say I was swayed too by the casual dress, no drama, no pressure and that the role of women has no limits in the UCC. Barack Obama is also a UCC member. Send me an email if you want more info.
A church has to fit you, so try them all on and have fun shopping.

XotiqueJaz said...

I was raised in a Mennonite church but never became a member because I didn't believe everything they did. My parents didn't pressure me and now it seems to be one of the churches that is having an open honest discussion about homosexuality. I like that. I have thought about attending the MCS but I don't think church should be about my sexuality so I am a little skeptical of that.

Currently I am unable to attend church but I read my Bible every night and I just try to find encouragement in what I read.

I have never attended a church w/a female pastor but I believe anyone can be touched by the Spirit and it shouldn't matter. Churches that don't allow women in leadership roles scare me!

Tami said...

My husband and I haven't had a church home since we left Chicago three years ago. So many of the churches here are conservative and I can't bear going to church for spiritual uplift and listening to bigotry instead. The one time we tried a local church, I found the pastor's message to black women off-putting at best, offensive if I really think about it.

Personally, I am looking for a more liberal church. We were members of a United Church of Christ in Chicago. Though I was raised a Baptist, if I have to pledge allegiance to a Christian denomination, I think I would pick UCC. I applaud their stance on the war, and the fact that they are welcoming to people from all different orientations and walks of life.

I tend to think that many different religions have something to learn from in terms of spiritual growth. Right now, I get my spiritual uplift from reading stuff about a variety of spiritual thinkers, from the Dalai Lama to Rev. Jeremiah Wright, former pastor of my old church, to Rev. Renita Weems, to Thomas Merton to the variety of people on Beliefnet.

And, yes, women can be religious leaders. In fact, my sister-in-law is a pastor. (My brother-in-law, too) She married my husband and I, which was really nice.

Gunfighter said...

First time reader here... but just a thought... have you taken a look at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America?

Our church hits most of the marks that you mentioned.

Give them a a look a http://www.elca.org

From there you can learn what we are a bout, and use the locator to find a congregation near you.

Cheers,

GF

Mes Deux Cents said...

Miriam,

I think it's very interesting that you converted to Judaism. As you say it's a hard thing to change religions as an adult.

Have you written about your conversion on your blog? I would love to read about that.



Nina MM,


I've been feeling the same as you for the last few years. I just want to give finding a church another chance.

Thanks for your best wishes.



Jackie,

The UCC church sounds like something I would want to check into.

I'll be in touch!



XotiqueJaz,


I’ve never attended a church with a woman pastor either, I would like to find one. I think you are right though if the person is a person of God it doesn't matter but I just wonder about the difference in having a woman pastor.



Tami,

Wow that's another recommendation for the UCC church. I'm definitely going to look into that church!

I totally agree with you about wanting to avoid churches with the wrong message.


Gunfighter,

Thanks I'll check out that website.


Thanks for stopping by!

Shelly said...

"...a person of God that delivers a message of how to incorporate spirituality into my daily life. I want to learn how to use religious text to navigate the complexities of life in this new century."

One doesn't need a church/priest/pastor to give you this - the truth of the ALL is everywhere you look... Research the life and works of Jesus, Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Mohammed, Krishna. Go direct to the source. Seek likeminded individuals who are also searching for their own truth and discuss, debate, learn. Find your own way to pray and give thanks. Meditate, fast, embrace silence and contemplation. Most importantly, MDC, look inside of yourself. You will find everything you're looking for right there.

(I don't mean to denigrate anyone's belief system of religion with what I write here but simply seek to offer an alternative approach...)

Much love :-)

Tami said...

Shelly,

I like the path that you outlined. More and more, it reflects the way I live my life.

Mes Deux Cents said...

Shelly,

I am very interested in differing points of view on enlightenment. I have read some books about Hinduism. I like the advice that you give.

I wish I could find some sort of non-denominational church or group to learn about different religions.

Tami said...

MDC,

What about Unitarian Universalist churches. I believe they welcome people of all faiths to services that are more spiritual than religious.

Mes Deux Cents said...

Tami,

I don't think I've heard of that church. I'll look into it, sounds interesting. Really interesting.

Thanks

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About Me

West Coast, United States
African American, Poet?, Vegetarian, Music lover, Agoraphobic, Social Phobic

My Favorite Poet

My Favorite Poet
Staceyann Chin

My Favorite Track Athlete

My Favorite Track Athlete
Christine Arron