Sunday, June 16, 2013

I Don't Want To Go To Church, part 2

I was brought up going to various evangelical churches, and that is what I have continued to do as an adult.  However, I find that I have an increasingly wide distance between my beliefs/practices and those of my church.  This has left me wondering what churches I might actually line up with in beliefs.  It seems like the Episcopal church might be a fit of some sort, but I am skeptical about whether or not I will even care to attend a church that I do agree with.  I've always been an independent thinker and a person that has no problem with standing alone.  It is not important to me to be surrounded by people who agree with me.  In fact, I don't even care to discuss most of these issues.  I feel comfortable with my beliefs, they make sense to me; when I want to learn more or be challenged I read a book on the subject, and in the meantime I live my life without needing to advertise everything going on in my head. I'm not sure that I even feel a need to invest my time, money, or energy into any church at this time.  I think that life is so very, very full already, it just seems sensible to focus on those things that are in front of me and carry on.  I'm tired, and so is everybody else in this family.  Are we somehow obligated to keep pushing ourselves for some church-y cause?  If so, says who?

I do ask myself, from time to time, if there is value in removing oneself from the regular daily life and become immersed in something spiritual.  I suppose the answer could be yes.

When I read about the church schedule that some of my Orthodox friends follow, I find myself feeling very turned off.  There is -nothing- in me that would want to run my life around church, church, church, and more church. It sounds exhausting and brutal and as if it would take the place of much of the home and family life that I value so highly.  I accept that this may be beautiful and deeply meaningful for many people. I also accept that I am probably not one of them.

We have enjoyed some home groups over the years.  When we were first married we had a group in our neighborhood that met.  In nice weather we pulled lawn chairs out into the lawn, sat in a circle, and had an informal church experience that was really nice.  We've been in some good groups and some less-serious groups as well.  Connecting with people like that, and having a discussion atmosphere has been satisfying in many ways.  However, having evolved quite a bit in my beliefs, I'm not sure what group I'd fit into any more.  And like I said, I'm not sure I feel the need for one.

Mainly I'm concerned that my kids get what they need, and a growing part of me suspects that this is one of those questions that will only be answered in retrospect.  Church will always be there, I suppose, and I do believe that God is capable of doing His work in spite of my mistakes or shortcomings.  That's a bottom-line comfort.

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