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Old 10-11-2009, 11:56 PM
 
Location: Rome, Georgia
2,660 posts, read 3,211,608 times
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Great story. Enjoyed the read! I must say it's been a while since I've had a positive experience in a church house.
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Old 10-12-2009, 07:20 AM
 
Location: Maryland
3,540 posts, read 5,969,538 times
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LiberalVoice,

Thank you for a touching story. You seemed to have picked a wonderful church, and found yourself an inviting, freindly, and caring community.
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Old 10-12-2009, 07:20 AM
 
7,788 posts, read 10,465,710 times
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June was more than hesitant to post on this one, but she has to say she enjoyed reading the OP. Although June had been to church before (decades ago when she was a very little June, but still equally adorable!) however, that was about it. Like the OP, she had studied Comparative Religions in undergraduate school, and despite her little heathen self got a degree in Theology/Religious Studies. However, "church" was never something that came under June's radar, so to speak.

One of my interns at work invited me to his home this past Easter. In knowing that June is a little heathen, he quite hesitatingly invited me to accompany him and his family to church, as well. (Being extremely cautious in so doing and making it more than clear that June did not need to feel obligated to attend with them.) June accepted. June found it quite interesting. June suspects that her friend's wife found it even more interesting when she asked June how long it had been since June had been to church, as June had to stop and think before replying "Um, thirty-five years."

June's friend the intern (now newly hired therapist/colleague) invited her back a second time. He just so happens to be an ordained minister, and with the most astonishingly impressive humbleness, asked if June would like to hear him do a service/preach. He was filling in for regular minister of their church who was on vacation. June gladly accepted the invite, as she was interested in hearing her friend 'preach.' She slipped into the back of the church, in the hopes that she could somehow be invisible. (Yeah, right! Like that could happen.) It was quite compelling to listen to the service. Afterwards, we went out to lunch, and just hung out and talked.

June has to say that she had never been to a church quite like that before. It was nothing like what she remembered of her experience as a child. She had also never been to a church where there was music. The experience left June with a feeling that was somewhat confusing. June felt as though she was a part of what was going on around her in an inclusive sense, yet at the same time, felt that she was a part from it in a "not of" (excluded) sense. This was no doubt due to the fact that there were more than a few moments when she was excrutiatingly aware of that fact that she was not one of those who were there who 'believed.'

All in all, June has to say, it was a very compelling experience.

She was both confused by, yet found it somewhat enviable to witness what those around her so obviously were experiencing.

P.S. June hopes that her post in no way detracts from that of the OP. She merely felt 'compelled' to post this by way of conveying, in part, to Theliberalvoice that there is yet another atheist out there who could resonate with what she had expressed in OP. June is just curious:

--What grade did you get on the paper?


Take gentle 'first time' care.
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Old 10-12-2009, 12:06 PM
 
4,749 posts, read 6,182,843 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by june 7th View Post
She had also never been to a church where there was music.
No music? Wow! What kind(s) of church(es) has/have no music?
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Old 10-12-2009, 01:11 PM
 
7,788 posts, read 10,465,710 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luvvarkansas View Post
No music? Wow! What kind(s) of church(es) has/have no music?
The one that they took little June to as a child...In (shhhh!) conservative minded, Fairfield County Connecticut back in the early 60's. June would speculate that back then, most churches didn't have music. Except organ music. Occassionally. Other than that:

No music.

Although since that time, June could quite possibly say that she's been compelled -upon recent occassion- by more than just one 'kind' of 'music.' No bands, but a few 'notes' here and there...

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Old 10-13-2009, 10:31 AM
 
1,135 posts, read 1,989,747 times
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I'm glad that your first experience was a positive one and that the pastor was so welcoming. This is how church should be. We wouldn't have so many empty seats if we made more of an effort to make visitors feel comfortable.
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