Can’t We Have More Than One Church Family?

ground group growth hands
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

If you have read my previous blogs you know my family is a mixture of religions. I have been a Catholic and turned Lutheran when I had my family. As I get older and ponder my religious upbringing the more I seem to question, not whether I believe in God, but why I need to attend one sole church.

The thought crossed my mind as I attended my Granddaughter’s confirmation. I knew why we had to belong to one church as my children grew up, so they could attend Sunday School, Bible School and learn more about God. That’s the way it is done. As I get older and have no children to raise I ponder why I can’t have many church families.

I loved the church service at the confirmation ceremony and the way my Granddaughter’s church, Cross of Peace Lutheran Church in Shakopee, MN, prepared their children for confirmation and made their day special. It made my day special too with the upbeat and contemporary service. You could feel the joy. I enjoyed the experience of worshipping in a congregation that was not my home church.

This week I decided to test my theory in my own home town. I decided to drop in and visit Open Doors United Methodist Church. It was my dad’s home church. I felt welcome the minute I walked in the door. The chatter and feeling of warmth immediately drew me in. As I experienced the services, different from my home congregation, I was moved. Looking at the bulletin I was drawn into wanting to attend some of their activities. It was Mother’s Day so the kids handed out homemade bookmarks to mothers. A woman I met briefly a few weeks earlier, invited me to dinner with her family. I already had plans but I appreciated the invitation. Another person invited me to a Bible Study.

After leaving I pondered visiting two different churches so close together, both different, but both feeding my heart and teaching me about the Lord and the gospel and church family. Each church, my own included, has an energy all their own.

I love the people in the church where I belong. My point is not unhappiness with my own home congregation, Good Shepherd Lutheran, it is something inside of me that wonders why we can’t have more than one church family in 2019. I know the doctrine of each church differs, but I also know very few people who 100 % follow the doctrine of their church. I am a mixed breed of religions and perhaps that is what is fueling my questions.

In my cozy mystery series books, the Fuchsia, MN Series, I think I addressed what I was feeling without knowing it. In Fuchsia, we have the We Save You Christian Church. Everyone in Fuchsia goes to the church. The denominations are not the same. The building is shared by all religions with the Priests and Ministers presiding over each denominations services but sharing the building. Residents can attend the service of their choice but many times they attend a service of another denomination because they want to change it up. Because they are all under the umbrella of one building, they are all one church family holding some events together. Maybe I pulled that out of some deep down feelings I have been hiding.

What would happen if we attended different churches on Sunday, expanding the church families that we have?  What if we weren’t so territorial about our people, but encouraged them to not only worship and take part in our church activities but of other churches too, and we welcomed others to join our activities without expectations. What if we welcomed and encouraged expanding church families and encouraged them to give their money wherever they worshipped for the Sunday? It would come back to us when others worshipped at our church.

I found events enticing me to attend in both churches where I worshipped in the last two weeks. At Cross of Peace Lutheran, I would love to participate in their Women, Wine and Woods event. At Open Doors I would love to participate in their Bible Study. There are things in my church too to attend. And there are events I wouldn’t mind helping with at each church such as a library and children’s book Sunday.

Am I advocating a pick and choose religion? Not really. I am advocating expanding and becoming part of a larger nurturing family of believers, rather than limiting ourselves to one inclusive congregation where attending another church or religion in your community might be viewed as a betrayal. I view it as enriching our lives with a bigger family brought together to learn about God.

I find I expand my world by seeing things through others eyes and the same can be said by learning about how others worship and what they do to feed their flock.

We have a fear in our congregations, I think it is underlying and not said, but in smaller communities perhaps, fostered silently, and that is that we are in competition with others churches and religions, and we need to keep people within our walls.

I love Billy Graham’s quote: Christianity means a lot more than church membership. And we’ve all heard the quote by Billy Sunday: Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going to a garage makes you an automobile. I agree with both. But having a church family that has your back can change your life.

Spending time with others with like interests in various activities feeds us to come together in prayer and outreach, bringing with it laughter, and comfort and a deeper understanding of the word.

These thoughts are just those of a rebel old person. Whose hallowed halls will I still be welcome in?

Categories: Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

4 Comments

  1. Been there done that: from New England Congregationalism which morphed into the UCC, to the ABC in Boston, to Unitarian/Wicca in seminary, and back to UCC. All I ever wanted was a place I could happily belong to. I think I made that in the churches I served.

    Right now, these days, it’s the Vietnamese Buddhist Temple and an occasional foray into a Native longhouse. They tell us that in order be a Christian there is a need for community…I get it more in these two latter places than my own home church.

    We do the best with what we have at the time

    Like

  2. Glad for your post and it brings a great subject re: Christian Churches-as-Usual. I have been on tours in several Christain Churches and found a Few Hunging in the Balance not indoctrinated/misled by False Doctrines, Leaders, etc. What I have found is a Personal Relationship with God the Father through Jesus Chirst and I was Baptized by the Holy Spirit while sitting by myself under a tree in Hunt, Texas; it was either Death of Life and I Choose Life. I found that there is only One Church, One Religion so to speak Through Jesus Christ (Christian Religion BUT there is only One Church found and that is in/by the Holy Spirit; a personal relationship with God my Father. On my office door it reads,”The Romans 8 Church in the Village of Shiloh. In my home, there is a lot of learning from God going on, then Bible Studies, Churches as Led by the Spirit and some very enjoyable time and I like to praise God in song, in unity with others, etc. However, Today, there is alot of Falling Way from God’s will and approval in all the Churches I have attended in one way or other based on fame and gain trying to be somebody. So, I have learned to not trust my own thinking and trust others only in degrees. I Give ALL my trust in God One Day At A Time. Ask God about this, be honest before and I know everything will be alright. Know This: We are at War Spiritually …God said, “Many are called; BUT, few are Chosen. There are alot of liars in religions, in Christian Churches today. Go with God!

    Like

I appreciate your comments. To leave a comment on my site you must leave your name and email. Comments will not show up until they are checked out to make sure they are not spam. Thanks for reading.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.