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What Denomination Do You Attend?


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Some more questions :)

(1) What denomination of church do you attend, and how regularly do you attend?

(2) What other religious practices do you observe (e.g. prayer, fasting, meditation, volunteering, etc.)?

(3) Are you able to openly express your progressive beliefs, or must you keep them private?

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1. No attendance excrept maybe for a wedding

2. Meditation & volunteering - although I don't regard either of these as a religous practice. Meditation is good for you just like eating well and getting enough sleep. Volunteering is simply my way of contributing to our community.

3. I could express them but nobody would really be all that inteersted. I don't move in religous circiles so I don't face criticism, but my circle of friends aren't particularly interested in PC either, so it's not something that often comes up.

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Thanks, PaulS :)

 

As for me, I attended Catholic services on Saturday evenings with my mother earlier this year. Communion bothers me, and, being non-Catholic, I would never be expected to participate. I have been trying to find ways to respect my family's Christian beliefs and maintain some ambiguity about my disbelief. Unfortunately, I joined a Catholic forum to learn the customs, and I was shocked to learn what Catholics actually believe. I imagined Catholics would be more open-minded. Also, I began to feel uncomfortable among all those devout Catholics at church. So I gave up that idea.

Edited by overcast
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Yes, it is difficult to reconcile sometimes. I grew up within fundamentalist Christianity and am working on letting all that baggage go, but I abandoned those beliefs when I was 18 and am still dealing with issues today at 47yrs! :) My parents are still fervent believers and my sister is a missionary (so to speak) in Mexico, so I still have it attached to my life.

 

It helps me a little to understand that we are all creatures of our environment, upbringing, and experiences. Some of us can challenge previously held beliefs, others find that a threat to their security. Being part of a religous community offers much to people - nothing like being surrounded by a group of like-minded individuals to help us feel secure and part of a community!

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Thanks, PaulS, that sounds similar to my situation in some ways. I'm 48, and I lost faith gradually in college, but Christianity has been a problem throughout my life. I considered myself an atheist, but I allowed for the possibility that Christianity was true - even though I had no personal evidence. Everybody else in my family was Christian. Then, I had my first and only psychotic episode a few years ago, and I think the residual Christianity in my life combined with the devout Christianity of my family to make the experience far worse than it needed to be. Looking at the brightside, I think that bad experience finally cured me of religion forever. It feels good to not believe at all. :)

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Having suffered depression and anxiety myself in my 40's, I can only imagine how turbulent your psychotic experience must have been and how perhaps well-intentioned family may have made it alot worse. During my expereince I was told that it was "God's way of calling me back". I would suggest that is not the best advice to offer somebody suffering a mental illness! :)

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Some more questions :)

(1) What denomination of church do you attend, and how regularly do you attend?

(2) What other religious practices do you observe (e.g. prayer, fasting, meditation, volunteering, etc.)?

(3) Are you able to openly express your progressive beliefs, or must you keep them private?

1. No particular denomination. Attend a Baptist church when my grandkids are performing. No regular attendance but will attend any when the option is presented and convenient. Find most church attendance make me cringe when listening to sermons. :rolleyes:

2. volunteer, financial support to orphans , needy .and aging, meditation and consider all of life a prayer including breathing.

3. mostly private unless asked with the exception of this forum.

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Having suffered depression and anxiety myself in my 40's, I can only imagine how turbulent your psychotic experience must have been and how perhaps well-intentioned family may have made it alot worse. During my expereince I was told that it was "God's way of calling me back". I would suggest that is not the best advice to offer somebody suffering a mental illness! :)

PaulS, I can relate to the depression. Hopefully you got it under control, because I know it sucks. The tendency in traditional Christianity to treat mental illness spiritually is bad. In my case, I suspect that I never would have become psychotic if I had fully debunked my Christianity, but I'm not sure. Luckily I got better over a period of months without any psychiatric help. I have read that people who are treated with anti-psychotics are more likely to have a second episode, so it worked out for the best. I don't think it will ever happen again now that I'm an atheist. :)
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1. No particular denomination. Attend a Baptist church when my grandkids are performing. No regular attendance but will attend any when the option is presented and convenient. Find most church attendance make me cringe when listening to sermons. :rolleyes:

2. volunteer, financial support to orphans , needy .and aging, meditation and consider all of life a prayer including breathing.

3. mostly private unless asked with the exception of this forum.

Is that fairly typical? I was imagining Progressive Christianity as more of a group activity with its own congregations and so forth. That is probably wrong.
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Overcast,

 

While there are progressive Christian churches with group activity and their own congregations which can be found through searches on our main site HERE ...... I think you will find as Mike, one of our members has said "Progressive Christianity is a path that embraces pluralism and gets away from systematized, exclusive absolutes, and where intellectual honesty is much more likely to be valued." I think for the most part, it is more an individual journey because it seems to me church organizations find it difficult to stay away from systematized exclusive absolutes. Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of fine organized Progressive churches that do wonderful group things but i think you will also find a lot of progressive Christians that are not tied to a local congregation and yet do many of the works and follow the recorded teachings attributed to Jesus .

 

Joseph

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PaulS, I can relate to the depression. Hopefully you got it under control, because I know it sucks. The tendency in traditional Christianity to treat mental illness spiritually is bad. In my case, I suspect that I never would have become psychotic if I had fully debunked my Christianity, but I'm not sure. Luckily I got better over a period of months without any psychiatric help. I have read that people who are treated with anti-psychotics are more likely to have a second episode, so it worked out for the best. I don't think it will ever happen again now that I'm an atheist. :)

 

The funny thing was that at first, it was simpy textbook anxiety. I had a pain in my chest, went to the doctor who told me I was experiencing anxiety (due to the financial stresses I had been under for some months) and that was that, much like being diagnosed with any other physical melody.

 

I was pleased with that diagnosis, went out and got a book about General Anxiety Disorder, and for a day at least felt like everything would be fine and I'd sort that stuff out. Unfortunately, a friend who I was co-invested with on a few fronts is a fundamental evangelical. I had to attend his house the 2nd day after the doctors and I told himk what was going on. He proceeded to tell me that it was God's way of calling me back and WHACK, twenty-odd years of turning my back on Christianity came back to haunt me in a big way! Sitting there on his deck I envisioned a sky-battle between Jesus and Satan and form there I collapsed into 9 months of deep anxiety and depression - anxious about going to Hell and depressed because I couldn't believe what I was 'supposed' to believe to not go there!

 

Anyway, the positive out of all that some 7 or so years ago was that I then did an awful lot of reading and research which only served to reassure me and concrete in exactly why I had given away that Christianity some 20 years earlier.

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Thanks, JosephM. Out of curiosity, I tried to query for churches in my area, but I couldn't find anything within 500 miles? I must not be using the form correctly. It doesn't matter though. Are UU (Universalist Unitarians) considered Progressive Christians?

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PaulS, that sounds very similar to my experience. Many people say religion is harmless if it is kept to yourself, but that overlooks the harm that religion does to the believer. My mother and brother and sister and their families are still Christian. Their beliefs seem harmless enough, but sometimes I worry that these beliefs could cause trouble later. A person doesn't even need to be a Christian to be harmed by residual indoctrination. Currently, I pretend to be a disaffected Christian, because my mother would be worried about me going to hell otherwise. Sometimes I feel that I should help them all become atheists, to reduce the risk that any of them will ever experience anything like I experienced. But I don't want to create a mess.

 

This also brings up the issue of whether mild Christianity is really harmless. Some atheists believe that mild Christianity makes it harder to eliminate strong Christianity. Also I don't think mild Christianity is harmless. I was raised as an Episcopalian (which is mild), but it has been a problem throughout my life - even when I lost faith. That is an issue for Progressive Christianity to consider IMO.

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Thanks, JosephM. Out of curiosity, I tried to query for churches in my area, but I couldn't find anything within 500 miles? I must not be using the form correctly. It doesn't matter though. Are UU (Universalist Unitarians) considered Progressive Christians?

Info from UU on the web indicates..... Although some churches are still liberal Christian, today only about 20 percent of UUs would call themselves Christian. Thus Unitarian Universalism cannot be considereda totally Christian religion.

 

 

I guess it might be easier to just google "Progressive Church" and add your state or hometown name.

 

 

If you use the link i gave you fill in state box with state such as "Florida" and User type with the option "Church" then click "search now" For me that resulted in 30 churches registered for Florida. Click on view for any of the names listed below on that page for more detailed data.

 

Hope that helps,

Joseph

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Overcast,

 

It seems to me sometimes ignorance is bliss so to speak. I don't worry about reducing other peoples risk. If and when they are ready the truth will surface and yes it can be painful. After all it is a hard thing to admit that one has been duped all their life. Until then, why not let them believe as long as they do no harm to others. People will not change beliefs until they are ready. You were ready, the pain is now history and a new day dawns for you. In my experience, one cannot come to truth unless one is open, ready and drawn by that which is beyond thought. Who can say why one is drawn and another content to live with blinders on?

 

Joseph

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None presently. But I was Episcopalian 20 years ago - that only lasted six years, but I will probably go back to an Anglican church of some kind. I had visited an Anglican Catholic church around the early 90s - will probably go back there. They are traditionalists, but they have the old liturgy that I like.

 

I did visit a congregational church last year that was supposed to be liberal, but it didn't do a thing for me. I seem to get most out of a celebration of communion with candles, incense, statues, pictures, etc..that kind of a service.

 

I would consider going into the Orthdox Church if it wasn't so ethnic.

 

As to the other question, I keep my beliefs private, unless the person asking is someone I trust.

Edited by Deva
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If you use the link i gave you fill in state box with state such as "Florida" and User type with the option "Church" then click "search now" For me that resulted in 30 churches registered for Florida. Click on view for any of the names listed below on that page for more detailed data.

Thanks, I gave that a try and it brought-up some results. I live in a small community, so nothing was near me. But that's o.k., because I feel most religious when my cat is kneeding my stomach just before I go to sleep at night ;)
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None presently. But I was Episcopalian 20 years ago - that only lasted six years, but I will probably go back to an Anglican church of some kind. I had visited an Anglican Catholic church around the early 90s - will probably go back there. They are traditionalists, but they have the old liturgy that I like.

 

I did visit a congregational church last year that was supposed to be liberal, but it didn't do a thing for me. I seem to get most out of a celebration of communion with candles, incense, statues, pictures, etc..that kind of a service.

 

I would consider going into the Orthdox Church if it wasn't so ethnic.

 

As to the other question, I keep my beliefs private, unless the person asking is someone I trust.

If you visit Orthodox churches, the Americanized branches are: Anticochian, OCA (Orthodox Church in America), and sometimes GOCA (Greek). I went to a Serbian church that was mostly Americanized, so it seems to depend on the parish. Also, Orthodox Easter is a week later than normal Easter this year. It's an interesting service, because our church used to give everybody an Easter egg at the end. Then you kiss everybody and say "Christ is risen" and the other person says "Indeed he is risen". I could do without the kissing. ;)

 

Of course I'm not recommending Orthodox - other than the novelty. They can be pretty strict and superstitious.

 

EDIT: Also, Orthodox tend to be indifferent to visitors, so a guest can feel unwelcome and confused about the procedure. If you want to try one, then you could get instructions on the customs from a forum. This is the most active one that I have found, and most of the members seem to be American converts ( http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/ )

 

Episcopalian is the most progressive of course IMO.

Edited by overcast
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I don't attend church, but I meditate more than once everyday, am studying the Christian Mystics and have found yoga to be beneficial on many levels. I attended Catholic school until I was a junior in High School and got kick out. My parents kick me out of the house the same year and disowned me, which was great because the universe opened up its heart. I feel the 60's, civil rights and the Vietnam war made many people in the world choose a side. I am attracted to the philosophy of every religion and science which opened my mind, but I have accepted the label of Christian as my faith even if many Christians say I am a heathen. I reply is I am only a thorn in the crown.

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I don't attend church, but I meditate more than once everyday, am studying the Christian Mystics and have found yoga to be beneficial on many levels. I attended Catholic school until I was a junior in High School and got kick out. My parents kick me out of the house the same year and disowned me, which was great because the universe opened up its heart. I feel the 60's, civil rights and the Vietnam war made many people in the world choose a side. I am attracted to the philosophy of every religion and science which opened my mind, but I have accepted the label of Christian as my faith even if many Christians say I am a heathen. I reply is I am only a thorn in the crown.

Thanks, Soma :) I need to start meditating again. I haven't for about a year. I think I will do it this morning :)
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Thank you for your post Overcast. I do appreciate it. I have scoped out most of the nearby Orthodox Churches and I have settled on an Anglican Catholic church that I will probably visit a few times and might even join.

Edited by Deva
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Thank you for your post Overcast. I do appreciate it. I have scoped out most of the nearby Orthodox Churches and I have settled on an Anglican Catholic church that I will probably visit a few times and might even join.

I hadn't heard of that denomination, but it sounds like a good one. :)
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I hadn't heard of that denomination, but it sounds like a good one. :)

Its pretty small, its a break-away from the Episcopal Church. I think there are some 250 churches total in this denomination. I like it because I know it is close to historical Christianity as it was 1,000 years ago when the eastern and western churches were undivided. I only know this because of extensive reading of church history back in the 1990s. Really a very similar service to the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches, of course with a few differences.

 

I like the feel of walking into an old, traditional service, with a sacramental emphasis, yet in English and not Russian, Greek or Latin. I'm sure its not for everyone, but that's OK too!

Edited by Deva
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Overcast, thanks for starting the thread. I was baptized and raised in the "high" Episcopal Church. I'm getting dangerously close to 60, and over the years I've been to so many different churches, even once to an "Evangelical Catholic" church where they sang in tongues. I've joined a few churches, stayed for varying periods of time, only to ultimately decide I was being hypocritical so I would leave. The hypocrisy was that I really didn't believe any of it, but I was drawn to the sense of community, peace, friendships and outreach in the ones I joined. I've had a difficult few years, have struggled with my own anxieties and depression, have been caretaking a sister with schizophrenia, become a single parent with 3 teenagers, and the list goes on. So, I've been looking again for that sense of "community" and think I may have found it at a church I discovered on this website. In fact, the first day I attended, Bishop John Spong was the guest preacher. As long as I don't hear "the Lord Jesus is the one and only way toward eternal life and salvation...", yada yada, I should be ok. Although I have to say the head reverend seems maybe a little too slick and there was a brand new Infiniti parked in his very own personalized parking spot, so I've made no commitments yet. I keep telling myself that first impressions are just that, both good and bad. Also, anything that even remotely smacks of "cult" sends me running. I tried a church once where the pastors were a husband/wife team. Nope, couldn't deal with that either. <_<

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Thanks, Bobbie0312 :)

Even though I grew up as an Episcopalian, I was not aware of the high and low church until recently. My hometown only had one Episcopal church. I assume it was high church, but I'm only guessing. Shows how much I know about church I guess. :)

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