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Post by sheff4lad » Wed Sep 02, 2009 3:10 pm

how do you det back to church after 5 years and how do you fit in when the church is so out of date

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Re: church

Post by Karen » Wed Sep 02, 2009 3:17 pm

Well I slipped back in quietly and just took things gently until I got the feeling of the place and people.

You would have to give us a few more clues about what you see in the church as being out of date. I'm no fan of modern worship songs which sound like 70's folk rock or U2 ripoffs but may of my friends think they are cutting edge. There is interesting stuff out there in the alt worship scene if that is what interests you. Or maybe that isn't what you mean.
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Re: church

Post by Ernest » Wed Sep 02, 2009 3:35 pm

sheff4lad wrote:how do you det back to church after 5 years and how do you fit in when the church is so out of date
I came back to church after a more than 25 years absence!

Albeit, a different denomination and church. I had a great need to return, I felt God calling me. My choice was made for me when I discussed the need with a Padre, who without any bias suggested I try a number of different churches - but I was welcome to try his first.

I went and stayed. I was made welcome by the whole church, one of a multi-parish Benefice near Canterbury, and I am now about to start a parish placement to test a vocation within the Parish.

As for the church being out of date - we have a variety of different worship from the Book of Common Prayer to Common Worship, all age worship and family services. The churches are united in so many ways and people move between churches easily and feel part of the parish in each place.

It may be that you will need to search for the church that you feel welcome/comfortable in and with - it can be providential in my case, or hard work, perhaps if you feel out of place in your current church.

So, there is no easy answer - only your own knowledge and feelings will direct you. Perhaps it might be worth considering looking at a Pioneer Church or fresh expressions project near you - if you feel that you want something not so traditional as your church.

I hope that you find what you are looking for.

Ernest :coffee:
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Post by Glo » Fri Sep 04, 2009 7:41 am

When I returned to our local CofE church after three years in an independent, charismatic, all-singing-all-dancing church I found the services quite stifling, the congregation aged, the service structure old-fashioned ... but I am learning that there is a quiet beauty in the traditional service.

I am also learning that attending a church service is not so much about 'what's in it for me?' and 'will it make me feel uplifted and happy?' for me any more (which it used to be in my previous church), but more about 'what can I do?' and 'what does God want from me?'

I have just started reading 'Why Go to Church?' by Timothy Radcliffe, which was Rowan Williams' book for Lent this year.
I have only just started it, so I cannot comment on it yet, but it unpicks the tradition of the Eucharist, what we celebrate and why.

Here is a comment from the book reviews:
Timothy Radcliffe using the Sunday Mass as his base structure for the book has produced a Beautifully written extended meditation on the shape of the christian life and what it means to live 'Eucharistically'. For example The Eucharistic Prayer becomes in Radcliffes hands the starting point for a meditation on the place of hope. The Lords Prayer or "Our Father" becomes the basis for an exploration of communion with God and our relationship to our fellow believers. I don't think it would be too hyperbolic to say that for Radcliffe The Mass contains the very meaning of life itself and that when the Christian actively participates in this Eucharistic 'drama' s/he has entered lifes deepest transformative mystery. A place of challenge, trial and sacrifice and yet also one of peace, forgiveness, reconciliation, love and growth.
This is a profoundly meditative,humane and richly allusive book that will reward the attentive and sensitive reader with deep insights into the Christian life, highly recommended.
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Post by Isobel » Sun Sep 06, 2009 7:36 pm

I think C.S.Lewis says some useful things, especially about the potential pitfalls of churches, in 'The Screwtape Letters'. This was written some time ago but most of his points are just as relevant today.



Post by enyaj » Sun Sep 13, 2009 11:11 am

sheff4lad wrote:how do you det back to church after 5 years and how do you fit in when the church is so out of date
I came back into the Church, as mynew Vicar at the t ime said., kicking and screaming in protest. (I had left the church some thirty five years beforehand.) It's a long story that I have told elsewhere in i-church, but I knew God to be calling me, and somehow felt that He had managed to put a fast one over on me. The upshot was that within a year I was totally immersed in a small but thriving parish, reading, preaching, leading liturgy, and even got shunted onto the vestry (parish council in UK terms).

Everyone is different, and eeryone has different reasons for returning to the church. Much will depend on personallities of both the returnee, and the local church leadership. But much also will depend on the faith of all these people.

Jayne (in Aroha, Hope, and Love. ) nz
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