I Kind Of Want To Start Going To Church Again

valleygirl

valleygirl

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Valley of dry bones
#1
I kind of want to start going to church again, but every one I look at online I think, "No, not that one." If you are an oldie on here you might know a little about my history with the church and clergy. I just keep wishing there was a Celtic Christian community here. I am aware of the Iona community in Scotland and the Northumbria Community in England, but alas, I live in Canada. I still feel so incredibly broken. I grew up in the Mennonite Brethren church, but I can't stand all the Mennonite pride. For seven years I went to a Christian and Missionary Alliance church, but I feel like I can't go back to all the hoopla of the praise and worship movement that took over that church. I think about going to an Anglican church, but I'm not sure I can, because it was a priest at an Anglican church that turned my life upside down. I just don't know where I belong anymore, and half the time I am thinking about how to end my life. I feel like in a Celtic church I might be able to belong, if I could forget that the priest in question was interested in Celtic spirituality as well. I know all the crap about priests not being God or the church, but they represent God and the church, and the way he betrayed me still hurts so deeply that even contemplating going back to church brings tears to the surface. But I am SO lonely. I have no friends, and as a single 41-year-old I don't know where to meet people. But I am afraid that if I try going to church again all I'm going to do is cry and either turn people off or simply attract a lot of sympathy from well-meaning people who are clueless about mental illness.
 
Kerome

Kerome

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#2
I've heard some good things about Unitarian churches, they seem to be more varied and accepting than a lot of others? Either way it sounds like a church could be helpful on a couple of levels, to alleviate the alone-ness, meet some more people and leave the past behind a little.

:hug:
 
tabbykitten

tabbykitten

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#3
I’ve had bad experiences in the past with the church I was involved with. Plus it didn’t help that I didn’t agree with what the Christian community as a whole believes in. Like Kerome though I have heard good things about Unitarian churches. Last few church services I have attended, all funerals sadly, have been at a local Unitarian church and I got a good feeling about the place.
It must be said that a church is a good place to meet other people and help the awful feeling of being alone.
A caring church should understand that new people attending may well be suffering in some way and shouldn’t pressurise the newcomer in any way. You will be aware from past experience if this is happening - so will know if that church is not for you.
 
NeedHaldol

NeedHaldol

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#4
I grew up catholic. I went to church every sunday, except when we were out of town - my dad called it "travelers compensation".

I eventually got confirmed and got really involved in youth group. I even ended up teaching middle school religious education.

I had a great group of friends who were kind and understanding and overall just good people. After I went to college, I didn't really see them again. I quit going to church, but I have great memories from bible study, retreats, day trips, socializing and all of that.

My parents made a ton of friends through church. My dad died about 6 years ago. My mom sees people from church she had made friends with when my dad was alive.

You can go to church and not really care about the religion, but make some good friends. It's not like people from church are constantly quoting the bible or pointing out sins. There could be a couple of whack jobs out there, but not the majority.

I suggest you find a church and just go. People will see you regularly and you eventually will make friends with people.
 
Under_The_Moon

Under_The_Moon

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Jan 12, 2018
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134
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Canada
#5
I kind of want to start going to church again, but every one I look at online I think, "No, not that one." If you are an oldie on here you might know a little about my history with the church and clergy. I just keep wishing there was a Celtic Christian community here. I am aware of the Iona community in Scotland and the Northumbria Community in England, but alas, I live in Canada. I still feel so incredibly broken. I grew up in the Mennonite Brethren church, but I can't stand all the Mennonite pride. For seven years I went to a Christian and Missionary Alliance church, but I feel like I can't go back to all the hoopla of the praise and worship movement that took over that church. I think about going to an Anglican church, but I'm not sure I can, because it was a priest at an Anglican church that turned my life upside down. I just don't know where I belong anymore, and half the time I am thinking about how to end my life. I feel like in a Celtic church I might be able to belong, if I could forget that the priest in question was interested in Celtic spirituality as well. I know all the crap about priests not being God or the church, but they represent God and the church, and the way he betrayed me still hurts so deeply that even contemplating going back to church brings tears to the surface. But I am SO lonely. I have no friends, and as a single 41-year-old I don't know where to meet people. But I am afraid that if I try going to church again all I'm going to do is cry and either turn people off or simply attract a lot of sympathy from well-meaning people who are clueless about mental illness.
If you want to go to church and find the right one I would look over the doctrine of each church in your area, see what one matches your beliefs then check it out for a few Sundays. Just my opinion :) I'm really sorry you are feeling lonely, I think church would help with that.
 
Seachad

Seachad

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Central Florida
#6
Might it be wise to try visiting the church during a time when mass wasn't being said, just to get the feel of the place? And if you like the feel of the place, perhaps make an appointment to meet with the Priest or the Minister, and take it from there? There's no need to dive in, it's perfectly okay to take things slowly.

And I'm not Anglican -- I'm not even Christian, actually -- but would it help to look at it as one Priest turning your life upside down doesn't imply that all Priests of that denomination would be the same? It's not as if they turn them out using cookie cutters, y'know. ;)

Any road, I do wish you the best of luck, and I very much hope you find a church and a congregation which make you feel welcome, and provide both what you're looking for and what you need to find as well.
 
lisa_wa

lisa_wa

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Washington State
#7
I want to too. It's a big step for me, to go and not know anyone.

Plus I don't have the money for church clothes.
 
D

Dulcie

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#8
Start local, ie. nearest to where you live even if it means an internet search. If you find a church sympathetic to your needs, visit a few times to get the feel of the place. Especially the congregation.

Most church people are friendly, happy to welcome new members and visitors. I've always believed that church is supposed to be a learning experience. Some are empathic and may be able to help, should you need.

If possible, read up about the place you found, and importantly what its core beliefs are. You don't want to end up in an heretical religious sect.

Keep your mind open, and your heart also.

Ask are there midweek meetings?

Are the church people around your age, or are they older? I'd be looking for a lively church, but not one that is very big because parking can be a problem. A smaller church may help you engage more.

I go to a simple, humble country church whose people are loving and accepting, and non-judgemental. They love young people and have a young people's fellowship. Be sure to find a church that has sound teaching. If you have a preconceived idea of the church, leave it at the door and keep an open mind.

Dress smartly; it's good manners to wear nice clothes as it shows respect. I usually go smart-casual and bring a warm coat because our church can be pretty chilly at this time of the year.

If you feel shy then don't go alone, but bring a friend. Afterwards you can talk to them about the experience and see if the church is right for you. :)
 
blacksmoke

blacksmoke

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basketville
#9
You do well to stay out of the churches that seem to focus on anything except the bible. These days a lot of evangelical churches seem to lecture you and its their own ‘wisdom’ and hence more psycho pop than biblical.

But maybe for now just try a few out and see what you think. Not all priests…its tough when you have mhi. But maybe if you look at this time as an opportunity to try out different churches.


lots of good advice above