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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)


  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.

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

  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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