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Old 09-12-2007, 09:56 PM   #1
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Default Do You Attend Church? Why ~ Why Not?

I have always been curious as to how many of our 3FC members attend church or worship in their religion.. I am on the Christian Encouragers thread, but really there are only about 8 of us that are "frequent flyers." We do have a lot of visitors from time to time.

I am a christian and have been for as long as I can remember. I have been a member of my Lutheran Church Missouri Synod for about 25 years now. I don't go every Sunday, but Angie and I do go most Sundays (or Saturday nights) during the year. I would say we attend close to 45 services a year, either at our church or at another when we travel.

My kids were both baptised as infants in our church, they are now 26 and 23. They both went from pre-school through 8th grade at our church school. My step-daughter went from second through 8th there and my nephew did 2 years there after I became his guardian. All of them received their confirmation there.

I have been a member of many boards over the years, done countless hours of volunteer work around the site, contributed many hard earned dollars (it was God's $$ anyway) to the church...and have loved every minute of it.

Some of my best memories are from fellowship during bible studies.

My children do not live "that" close to our church now, they do attend although not as much as I would like, but they never fail to be in my pew on Christmas, Easter, 9/11 service, Father's or Mother's Day...plus more...just not as much as I wish as I mentioned. It is the highlight of my day! When they are there. Angie and I sit through many-many services with my ex-wife. My brother and his family, nieces and my nephew are members.

My church is very important to me. I just was curious about your church participation or ideas on the subject. If organized religion is for you or not.

Not really looking to debate "RELIGION" at all here ~ Just looking at what "YOU" do on Sunday mornings or on "YOUR" sabbath/day of rest!
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Old 09-12-2007, 10:08 PM   #2
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I do go to church and I'm getting ready to attend Seminary. I'm a Christian and a member of a Presbyterian Church. My father was a minister so I was raised in the church.

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Old 09-12-2007, 10:10 PM   #3
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with the new job gary...lately i'm working on the sabbath. However since you asked about do i go to church. No...i was raised catholic and abandoned the religion shortly after college...for a multitude or reasons. I don't attend church for many various reasons, one being i haven't found one that i feel isn't at times a double standard (easiest way to put it). I do feel i live up to high morals and live my life very spiritally...but just haven't found that "church/religion" that seems to make me not question everything. There are times i think about it alot...esp when kids come into the pic (not anytime soon)..i wonder if it would be better to go to church..by my jury is still out for now. I do believe i'm a practicing christian and hold ppl in high moral standards.

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Old 09-12-2007, 10:15 PM   #4
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I definitely have a love hate relationship with Sunday morning service. I pretty much had to be dragged to church during most of my childhood (raised roman catholic). I've had periods of religiousity throughout my life. I remember when I was about 11 I made this big poster of Christ in crayon or marker. I thought it looked horrible, but I hung it on my window anyway, pulled the shade down and went to sleep. In the morning, the sun shown through the posterboard and shade and it just seemed to be the most beautiful thing in the world to me (then as a teen I removed it because Christ staring at me every morning gave me the creeps).

I converted to Missouri Synod Lutheran, when I married my husband because we felt important that we be of the same faith and he was more committed to his faith than I was to mine. In going through the classes, I found that all of the important (to me) doctrine was the same so I didn't have any conflicts of conscience. When explaining it to my mother, we jokingly referred to Lutheran as "Catholic Lite," which I've come to regret because my mother tells people that we're "almost" Catholic. Still, it gives her peace to know that I am going to church regularly as it bothered her alot that I was not going to church.

I am lazy by nature, and now that I have pain issues, dragging myself out of bed on Sunday morning is not my favorite thing to do. Luckily my husband is much more devout than I. For a few months I didn't make it to church very often, as much from laziness as pain, but after a few weeks of my husband going without me, and everyone calling and emailing to see how I was doing, I knew I had to get to church, or if I couldn't be sure that it wasn't for lack of trying. Hubby wakes me up two hours early to take my medications, and I go back to sleep. By the time I have to get up for church, I'm in a better frame of mind.

We've committed to bible study twice a week (well hubby has committed to twice a week, I've only committed to one, with an "I'll give it a try" for the second), and we are part of our churches jail and prison ministry (hubby was a bit of a hellraiser when he was younger though never went to jail, and I was a probation officer and juvenile detention center youth worker, so we thought we could bring something to the team).

I'm less of a traditionalist than my husband, and I'm very conflicted about some church doctrine (and the biblical basis for the doctrine). I don't know if I'm wrong, the church is wrong, or if the bible is being interpreted correctly on some of these "issues" I have, so as my husband says I'll have to add it to the list to ask the Big Guy when I get my chance.

I am lazy by nature, and now that I have pain issues, dragging myself out of bed on Sunday morning is not my favorite thing to do. Luckily my husband is much more devout than I.
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Old 09-12-2007, 10:16 PM   #5
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I used to go every week (Catholic guilt!!! ) but since I had my second son, not so much -- he's not particularly "church material" -- yells "I'm never coming here again, it's it done yet, why did you get a potato chip and not me, etc.".

However, I signed my oldest up to be an alter server since he is eligible now, in the hopes we can return to regular Sunday service. My husband is a "holiday worshiper" -- just the big ones and I'm not sure if that works for me -- not looking to be catholic when "it's convenient".

But, I agree that just because I dont' go every Sunday, doesn't mean I'm not following the principals of being a good catholic, as well as just because someone goes every day doesn't necessarily make them better than anyone else. I am teaching my kids to be thoughtful/considerate and respectful of others, we do community volunteering constantly and I don't believe you have to be in a house of worship to pay respect to god.

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Old 09-12-2007, 10:16 PM   #6
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oops didn't edit properly and ended up repeating myself. Did I mention that I'm lazy. I guess that was a bit of a reminder for me that it really is an area I have to work on.
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Old 09-12-2007, 10:17 PM   #7
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I attend church almost every Sunday with my DH. Our kids are grown (25 & 22) and the oldest is in Seminary. I am the lay leader of our congregation as well as the media ministry director. DH is the financial secretary. I was baptized as a Methodist,DH was raised Baptist. We were married in a UCC church, and have been back in a Methodist church for 27 years.
Like Gary, I delight in the times when my children are home and we attend church again as a family! I wish it was more often.
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Old 09-12-2007, 10:17 PM   #8
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Not right now. But there are a few churches in the area I am investigating. My partner is a little scared off from the whole church idea (she was raised Catholic - went to Catholic school, was an altar girl, worked in the church rectory, sang in the church choir - and had some bad experiences that worry her about approaching organized religion again). I am working on getting her to at least try with me for a couple Sundays.

If she won't, I will probably start looking for a church I am comfortable going to on my own. It is something I feel is missing in my life currently.
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Old 09-12-2007, 10:18 PM   #9
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Funny you ask this question, I think of it quite a bit. I do not attend church. Probably because I was never taken when I was growing up. Grew up with my grandparents who had at one time been active in their church. Well I shouldn't say active, but they did go and my mother and aunts were baptized. I remember wanting to go with friends to church activies and my grandma would say "no it might be a cult" So I couldn't imagine myself going to something that was never part of my life. I have gone as an adult and feel out of place and so strange. Also, the few times I've went the "message" turned me off. I always managed to go on days when they talked about how much we should contribute. Now being your first time in a church I don't like starting off with how much of my pacycheck I need to contribute. If I become a member I have no problem with this, but must we discuss it all the time?
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Old 09-12-2007, 10:22 PM   #10
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I attend once in a blue moon. I have my own religious beliefs that do not coincide with any church beliefs that I know of. And I don't put a lot of stock in organized religion because of whom it is organized by. Human beings. Sinning, hypocritical, make mistakes human beings, many of which would like to hit you over the head with the Bible to get you into the pew.

And I developed my disdain for "organized" religions based on my upbringing. My parents were two of the MOST hypocritical, cry-me-a-river Christians that ever set foot on the face of this planet. My pastor murdered his wife and is serving life in prison. And much more. So in the end, I prefer to hold my own beliefs and worship in my own ways without being brow-beat, lied to, looked down at, or treated as if I were inferior and definately going to burn in ****. And that's just my mom. Nice, ain't it?

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Old 09-12-2007, 10:32 PM   #11
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I was also raised Roman Catholic and went to Catholic Schools but I stopped going in my late teens - early 20's. There were just too many things that I did not agree with and didn't feel I should attend when I didn't accept the teachings in totality.
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Old 09-12-2007, 10:46 PM   #12
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Good Thread!
I was brought up Catholic but I didn't like the ritualistic traditions and doctrines it had. I always remember my mom pinching my arm in church, when the Priest would ring his bell, my brothers and I would laugh and say, "dinner time". Then I would feel the dreaded "pinch".

I actually received Christ as my Lord and Saviour when I was in HS. Back then it was easy for other Christians to talk about God without anybody getting offended!
I eventually rededicated my life to the Lord again in my late 20's and then went to church. It was a non-denominational church, I really liked it but my flesh got in the way and I left it and started partying. Being a hairdresser at that time, it was all about partying, I was out of control!
When I finally got married, my husband received the Lord, we went to church then left it.
Now I'm ready to commit myself to a church, I'm 46 and I want to go. And funny you should bring this thread up because after doing some searching online I found a church close by me that I want to go to.
I had a real peace about this church, so I hope it works out.
I love participating and the love that is shown. I used to do the little children's ministry and those little ones were so cute!

It's never too late to go to church, it's just finding the right one, where there is a spirit of unity, love and a good praise and worship team!!! They must also teach straight from the Word of God!
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1Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
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Old 09-12-2007, 11:35 PM   #13
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I was raised Catholic, refused to go after I turned 14. Back then I questioned everything and drove everyone nuts! I pretty much gave up on organized religion. For a long time I wasn't sure what I believed in and I didn't seem to fit anywhere. After searching, reading and studying I finally found my place as a Pagan. I teach my kids what I learn and know, but I don't mash it down their throats. I teach them what others believe and give them the choice to follow their hearts. I've been looking into going to UU churches for awhile now, I think the kids would really enjoy going. Unfortunetly there are only a couple in the area, the one closest to us seems to be losing numbers instead of getting stronger (doesn't say much for organization) and the other is too far of a drive in the winter.

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Old 09-12-2007, 11:44 PM   #14
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My path has been a strange one. I do not attend church, however I did as a teenager and I had a very bad experience. Now I know that doesn't mean that all churches will be like the one I went to - but I guess it really did open my eyes to a lot of things and it did guide me to forming my beliefs and values... however mostly in the opposite direction.

I was raised in a house that rejected religion, my mother was smothered with it as a child & my father came from a household too lazy and indifferent to think about it. When I started going to church as a teen my dad was quite shocked and can be quoted as saying "I thought we raised you better than that." While that seemed pretty outrageous to me then... given the people I was keeping company with I can see his point of view in hindsight and I don't think it had anything to do with the religion.

In the end I took a path that led me away from organized religion and Christianity all together. I don't regret the time I spent going to church and learning about Christianity...I explored other organized religions but in the end I just found that my spiritual life was meant to be private and and shared with others.
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Old 09-13-2007, 12:01 AM   #15
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I was raised going to church everytime the doors were opened. My parents attended a small, mostly family members, Church of God church. I started going to a Baptist church in college. After graduation, I moved out west and went to a non-denominational church for a while, although not regularly. I met my husband while living there. He had also been raised in the church - Lutheran (ELCA). We tried a few of the churches in the town where we lived at the time, but never really found one where we felt comfortable. When we moved back down south, we tried again occasionally. It was a bit difficult finding something we were both happy with. Church of God and ELCA are on quite opposite ends of the spectrum and for a few years there we didn't attend anywhere regularly. After we had kids, it became more important to us to find a church home. We attended a lutheran church for a few years, but it was rather far to drive, so we then found a methodist church right down the road from us, and have been there for about 10 years.

It is important for me to be at church regularly. I have found that it grounds me, gives me peace, and spiritual nourishment. I would like to be more active in Bible studies that are held on either Sunday or Wednesday night, but I let other activities keep me from doing so. My children are both active in the youth program at our church and they visit friends' churches on occasion and participate in activities with them. They have both gone through confirmation and my son has talked about going into music ministry as a career. Of course, he's 15 and has talked about many, many possible careers.

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