Happy Easter, everyone

I have to admit to a crisis of faith over the last couple of years, and my church attendance has waned as a result. But during service this morning, I remembered how much I like the experience of the fellowship. Gave me a sense of renewal which is fitting for today, especially.
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Comments

  • The Lord is Risen, Indeed, Alleluia!
  • Happy belated.

    Glad to hear of your experience, Bird. 


    We hosted dinner.

    So much ham....
  • edited March 2016
    My daughter completed her Bat Mitzvah last year, but I think it was as much to keep her mom happy as anything else. It was nice to see her participate in the service, for no other reason than that she still recognizes her dad's side of the family and traditions.

    RANT (I don't expect anyone to read this. I just want to get my thoughts down.)... The pastor at the church we had been going to (aka, Hippy Church) has been a bit of an up and comer in the theological world. He's very social media savvy and uses a lot of technology in his out-reach efforts. He's also a bit of a name dropper and I feel like he's very self-promoting. Others have told me that he could do a LOT more and is fairly restrained given how well he's known by other religious leaders across the country. I thought perhaps I was being unfair.

    I had my last straw during an Easter service about 3 years ago. The congregation had outgrown the small in-town facility we were at and it got to the point that he was doing five services on Sunday, one on Saturday and one on Wednesday. So he and the staff began work toward acquiring and renovating a large warehouse close to downtown. That was all well and good, but at the time, the average age of the congregation was probably early to late 20s. It was nice to see young people you wouldn't necessarily associate with religion attending, but they don't have a lot of money to put back into the org. Since my wife and I were older, we felt like we (and those like us) were getting the brunt of the fund raising pleas. Finally, we were at that Easter service (held at a large outdoor theater park to accommodate everyone) when the pastor announced, as part of the continued requests for money, that an anonymous member had taken out a second mortgage on her home and donated it to the church for the new facility. I was pretty angry that he'd accept that money.

    Anyway, the final-FINAL straw was when he posted some selfies with himself and "Brother Cornell West" during some seminar. I decided that I was done. I liked the church, but I became disillusioned with the pastor and I felt like he had taken over the identity of the org and made it into his own personal image.

    So we wandered around trying to find another church, but just couldn't settle anywhere. We tried a modern service at a large Methodist church that we liked at first, but they turned out to be a bunch of huggy-handwaivers. Nope. Then we started going to a large established Presby church that I had attended in my past, but it was more formal and traditional than we had been enjoying. Our attendance and interest began to drop off.

    I guess the phrase, "practicing your faith" is a literal one. If you don't regularly practice it, it gets harder to engage in. The service we went to yesterday was at the Hippy Church. They held it at a different outdoor venue again, but there were no pleas for extra money (I guess since the new facility is open). The pastor is still dropping names, but I think I finally realized that it's more than just about the leadership. The congregation has changed a bit since we were last part of it. The crowd is a little older and more established. There are more families. It's a little less hippy, I guess. And I enjoyed watching and seeing how everyone else interacted more than just going for the Word. It's given me something to ponder...
  • Seabird said:

    My daughter completed her Bat Mitzvah last year, but I think it was as much to keep her mom happy as anything else...




    I think they are usually that way. My 13 year old is going through the lead up to confirmation. It's a weekly class. She has missed time with friends and sleeping in on Sunday to make these "classes", which are taught by women and have little academic content. She resents the imposition, but my mother in law is a Shiite RC and has maneuvered Mrs. Zuk into supporting this.

    I had her apply to an all girls prep school the next 'burb over. She was accepted and offered a 10k a year scholarship, but she is so sick of the Mary business, I couldn't talk her into going.
    Seabird said:

    The pastor at the church we had been going to (aka, Hippy Church)...




    I won't use your rant as a basis for one of mine. There is a huge presby church in our village, and the people I know who are in it seem very nice. It might just be that the some girls in it are from the south and enforce nicer manners in their children. The methodists seem like a nice bunch too.

    "Huggy-handwavers"? Are these people who pray with their hands out stretched in front of them? RCs are starting to do that. Makes me stabby.

    Best of luck in finding a crowd you don't feel like strangling. I've given up.
  • edited March 2016
    "Huggy-handwavers"? Are these people who pray with their hands out stretched in front of them? RCs are starting to do that. Makes me stabby.

    Meh. I grew up with it.

    We have a few in our church & honestly it doesn't bother me. It's mostly older women.

    A couple of the older men will bellow a hearty "amen" if the Pastor gets on a roll.

    I've sat in enough UCC & Lutheran snooze fests to realize I prefer a service where the folks
    seem genuinely excited about what's being said.

    YMMV
  • On the flip side, I have a friend who attends a full blown Pentecostal Holy Roller side show.
    One really uncomfortable service was enough.  
  • 2.FOH. said:

    A couple of the older men will bellow a hearty "amen" if the Pastor gets on a roll.


    I've sat in enough UCC & Lutheran snooze fests to realize I prefer a service where the folks
    seem genuinely excited about what's being said.

    YMMV



    Anglicans save all their genuine excitement for gin and lawn parties. That leaves plenty of feigned excitement for friends' childrens' college choices.

    Besides, it's rude to wake someone from a peaceful slumber.
  • Besides, it's rude to wake someone from a peaceful slumber.

    Ha.

    We have a couple snorers.

    My FIL has fallen asleep at every church service I've seen him attend.
    & he's dating a Catholic woman.
  • Happy Easter!

    Sorry about nailin' yer God to a tree.
  • edited March 2016
    I went to school with someone who wanted to start a "Church of the Immaculate Felt," where the primary sacraments would be drinking coffee or drinking booze while playing poker. And a tax shelter at least more appealing than Scientology.  Only slightly more seriously, it would be nice to find a church that was essentially an English club, where you had a bunch of people sitting around in overstuffed leather chairs, drinking and reading the newspaper, while someone droned on quietly in the background about something at least vaguely Christian.  I imagine you'd have people lining up to become members.  If you had a nice waitstaff and a decent kitchen attached, you'd have to worry about drawing the attention of overly ambitious "Pastors."

    At the very least it would be interesting to see what kind of competitive effect it had on other churches.

    Until I'd written the above two paragraphs, I'm not sure I'd realized just how cynical I've become.
  • Our church has an overflow which is also the new youth building.

    If the sanctuary is crowded, or you simply want a more casual atmosphere, you can enjoy the service there.

    Huge screen TV, surround sound, couches, lounge chairs, coffee, donuts.
    We sat there for Easter. 

    They have one of those Keurig machines. I told the assistant Pastor those things are of the Devil &
    we should have a proper coffee machine.
  • My sister got a Keurig. Horrible.

    Slap - Would the 1% be willing to tithe?
  • Slap said:

    Only slightly more seriously, it would be nice to find a church that was essentially an English club, where you had a bunch of people sitting around in overstuffed leather chairs, drinking and reading the newspaper, while someone droned on quietly in the background about something at least vaguely Christian.  I imagine you'd have people lining up to become members.




    No waitstaff, but you know you just described the Guild Room at Ascension, right. It existed, and the wrong people lined up to become members.

    Seabird said:

    My sister got a Keurig. Horrible.




    Before my sec agreed to take a Keurig on a trial basis, I had kicked my caffeine addiction. Completely. I had been "clean" for a year or two.

    It was there so I used. Then she talked the salesman into leaving it for another couple of weeks. Eventually they took it back. That was maybe a decade ago and I haven't shaken it since.
  • edited March 2016
    Our definitions of "horrible" differ, I think. When Jill and I met, her idea of coffee was crossing the street from her office at 3:30 and grabbing an iced something-or-other at Starbucks. More milk and sugar than coffee, IMO. Then she met me and she's been chasing the dragon ever since. Now she insists that we order our beans from a little independently owned coffee plantation in Costa Rica ever couple of months. We found the place last summer and had breakfast there. Right now I'm trying to choke down a Flavia brew at my desk. Wretched stuff.

    http://www.cafecristina.com/

    Did I mention that one of the things I liked about Hippy Church is the in-house coffee bar? Before service I can grab a large dark roast and take it in with me. It's a nice perk. <---heh... saw that after I typed it. :)

  • My biggest issue is using one for a large group is retarded.

    50 people....one cup at a time....
  • I don't like the cost of the Keurig system and that there isn't a pot of it.



    It's one of the more expensive ways to make a little coffee. I can shovel enough into my Braun's cone filter to make enough acrid bean juice for anyone brave enough to try it. And I don't need a machine to tell me that my coffee mug is too big.
  • Look at the Nespresso systems, even better.
  • edited March 2016
    Coffee is the sweet, sweet nectar that allows me to tolerate you humans instead of strapping on a William Shatner mask and gettin' busy.
  • MC Escher said:

    Coffee is the sweet, sweet nectar that allows me to tolerate you humans instead of strapping on a William Shatner mask and gettin' busy.

    Why does it have to be either/or? Why can't you do both?
  • I hate any technology in a church service. I try not to be like that, but it's just such a turn off to me. I still hate that Episcopal churches for the most part have gone to printing the entire service in the Sunday bulletin sheets. I think it destroys our relationship to the Book of Common Prayer. If someone put up a screen in a church I'd be out. 
  • edited March 2016
    We have screens for lyrics to Hymns....& for any scriptures.

    It was a somewhat messy transition & a few folks complained. Ours is a pretty conservative
    congregation.

    A guest speaker once used the word sanctinasium to describe the sanctuary/gymnasium at his church.

    I think I heard an audible gasp.
  • edited March 2016
    It does make life easier for many people not to have to have their heads in books during the service. I know I'm just a square about things.
  • I hate any technology in a church service. I try not to be like that, but it's just such a turn off to me. I still hate that Episcopal churches for the most part have gone to printing the entire service in the Sunday bulletin sheets. I think it destroys our relationship to the Book of Common Prayer. If someone put up a screen in a church I'd be out. 




    What really destroyed your relationship with Cramner's Book of Common Prayer was replacing it in the 1970s with what you have now.
  • nbody said:

    I hate any technology in a church service. I try not to be like that, but it's just such a turn off to me. I still hate that Episcopal churches for the most part have gone to printing the entire service in the Sunday bulletin sheets. I think it destroys our relationship to the Book of Common Prayer. If someone put up a screen in a church I'd be out. 




    What really destroyed your relationship with Cramner's Book of Common Prayer was replacing it in the 1970s with what you have now.
    Yes, that's very true. Very true. I have many older BCPs for this reason. I have 1 of the current version and I don't even know where that one is, unfortunately. Bedside, I have two or three older version, 28 and going back to the English 1549.

    But what you say is, in fact, the single greatest loss of connection with the BCP. very true.
  • Slap said:

    Only slightly more seriously, it would be nice to find a church that was essentially an English club, where you had a bunch of people sitting around in overstuffed leather chairs, drinking and reading the newspaper, while someone droned on quietly in the background about something at least vaguely Christian.

    Sounds like a Presbyterian Church in America denomination meeting.  PCA has been rumored to mean Pipes, Cigars and Alcohol.  Most of the finer scotch and Cuban cigars I've consumed has been at meetings with Presbyterians.

    Not sure how I missed this thread... but I'm here now.  So happy belated Easter.

    We've been looking for a new church for several years now, we thought we landed at one but after two years of giving it a shot we've decided it's just not the place for us. It stinks to not have a church home and it stinks to judge churches by a list of things that probably aren't all that important. Oh well, so it goes...
  • It stinks to not have a church home and it stinks to judge churches by a list of things that probably aren't all that important. Oh well, so it goes...




    Burke wrote, "To make us love our country, our country ought to be lovely."

    The points on which you interact with your church shouldn't repel you. You aren't a child being socialized into your parents' culture, and you aren't an ooga-booga who needs assimilation into civilization. You should like the congregation you attend; it shouldn't be just another damned thing to do.
  • +1 to the last two posts. They both sum up my feelings exactly.

    Man, JIMP... I grew up in the PCUSA side and we never got scotch and cigars. Not even for my confirmation. I need to find a PCA church, but the wife would hate it.
  • I was going to ask why you don't just build one and then I realized that you don't mean your CONGREGATION is looking for a Church, you mean YOU'RE looking for a Church.
  • edited May 2016
    I'm looking for a non-dysfunctional Episcopal parish and honestly, I don't think one exists any longer.
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