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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Going to Church: Looking for a Revelation


This is the second installment of a  4-part series written by Carrie Vittitoe to accompany her article in the December/January issue of Today’s Family magazine (page 18). Read about her new experiences in attending church in Part 1.

A lightning bolt of unadulterated belief didn’t strike me as I sat in the church pew, but neither was I struck down by an angry god miffed at my waywardness.

Things have become a little clearer for me as a result of writing my religion feature for Today’s Family. I’ve spent some time...
...reflecting on why I left the Catholic Church some 13 years ago, and I’ve considered my limited experiences at other churches (children’s Easter activities and special events with friends).

I was glad to find the Sunday service I attended relatively small and low-key. I’m not at all comfortable with open expressions of praise, like raising hands and lots of “I love you, Jesus.” I don’t know if this is because we didn’t do it this way when I was growing up as a Roman Catholic or because seeing free demonstrations of belief makes me feel that my shaky faith really doesn’t have a place there. People with two left feet generally don’t hit the dance floor eagerly, and I am the faith equivalent of such a person.

When the minister greeted the congregation and said something on the order of, “Whether you believe or not, wherever you are, we welcome you,” I admit I was a little floored.

For a long time, it seemed to me that if I didn’t feel 100% sure, if I didn’t feel like I had reliable and consistent belief, if I disagreed with theology or doctrine, I shouldn’t be at church. Being a wife for 15 years, a mother for 9 and a person for almost 40, has helped me see that there is nothing in life in which I can always be or give 100%. Not my marriage, my children, my writing, my housework, my diet, my exercise routine, nothing.

So it was very unrealistic to think faith would be any different.

Photo Source: Hugo (Flickr)





3 comments:

  1. I am glad to hear your experience in a new church was welcoming. I think the church should be a place where people feel safe to bring their questions and learn more about belief. While I think the church shouldn't focus entirely on making everyone and everything comfortable, it should be a place where people can come as they are.

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  2. Your life experience sounds very similar to mine Carrie. Just curious what denomination this new and accepting church is.

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  3. Hi Jess and Julie--
    Thanks for your comments.
    It is a Christian church, Disciples of Christ. I was just talking to another friend who has recently begun attending a DOC church. The one she is attending is similarly very inclusive.

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