Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Dilemma

So I am having a dilemma that I will actually answer in this post. I already know my answer I just don't want to do it. But first I must write what I believe and profess:

I believe in God the Father Almighty,
Maker of Heaven and Earth,
and in Jesus Christ,
His Only Son, Our Lord:
Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit,
Born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, dead and buried.
On the third day, He rose from the dead,
He ascended into heaven
and sit at the right hand of God the Father Almighty,
from there He will come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen

I believe every line of this creed!

Now on to the dilemma, we belong to a reformed evangelical Presbyterian church that is over an hour away from us. I takes about as long to get there as it does work. Plus it is in the same city as work which would mean driving there 6 days a week on this gas. It is a very friendly church. It is a very welcoming church. I felt loved and accepted as a single adoptive parent. They supported my adoption and G was baptized there. It also challenged me intellectually as well as spiritually. I grew by leaps and bounds and was even disciplined there. Even through that they loved me and walked me back away from that sin back into fellowship. I want to go back there. I have been a member for 12 years. I am very conflicted about leaving it. I haven't been conflicted about any other church I have left membership (two previously my childhood one and another).

Roughly, for the last two years, we have been attending a church that is literally two blocks away and we walk there on pretty days. It is a United Methodist Church, not reformed. My favorite grandmother was a member of a UMC and believed and professed the same creed word for word as I do. But and this is a big but, to be a member of this church you don't necessarily have to profess faith in Christ. They even allow unconfirmed children to participate in communion. I believe the minister is a believer and sometimes preaches an evangelical message. Mostly it is stories but I feel a change coming as he asked everyone to start bringing their bibles every Sunday.

G loves the UMC. She loves the pastor. She loves the children's class. When I talk about our old church she says, "you memer our old church where we walk to?" They love her at this church. Most of the members I have known all my life, went to school with them or siblings. Some were teachers in high school or counselors there. It is old home. It is not diverse. G is the most diverse person there. It is small, and mostly married or old people. The teen group is small as is the children's class.

I don't want to pray about it because I don't want to move. The UMC though is completing their new sanctuary and on June 1 will have a big celebration. I need to move membership there. I guess I can talk to the pastor later about the beliefs. They sent me a card to ask if I would consider joining, which I need to fill out and send back. I don't want to go back to my old home (growing up) church although G can participate in all of the functions since my parents are still there. There really are no true reformed congregations near by. And this is a very close church. They love us too! We right now only attend Sunday morning but when we join we will start attending Sunday school too.

Maybe it is sentimentality that is keeping me from joining. I don't have any real connection anymore to the Presbyterian church other than friends still there. I still tithe there. It is just a very hard decision to make and I know when I make it I will probably cry. So tomorrow is reserved for tears as I will return the card and do the right thing. Maybe one day if we ever move back to our old house we will resume membership with the Presbyterian church again.

10 comments:

AZMom said...

You do what you feel in your heart is the right thing to do.

Big hugs to you!

Tracy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tracy said...

God works in very mysterious ways. Maybe there is some yet unknown reason why membership in the UMC is calling you right now, even though your feelings are mixed. I believe we are, at our core, the same child of God and follower of Jesus, no matter where we worship. I also believe that God is so all powerful that she presents herself in so many ways to ensure we find her. God knows we get confused and lost along the way. Listen to your soul, you will hear the whisper of God and know your direction.

Peace, Tracy and Muriel

Heather said...

Beverly,
We have switched churches recently back to my old church. The music is horrible but Bill and I joined the newly formed worship band, and at least we can feel we're making an effort.
I totally understand your church choice confusion. It took me a long time to get back to this one, but now I'm here it does feel like home.
I guess it's a round about way to say, Tithing is Tithing, and worship is worship. I like to Tithe where I can make a difference and worship where it makes a difference in me.

Now, on to other subjects. Our Little Miss is not one of the girls from last year, but she is at the same foster home with them. We're doing it the same way, CHI had to ask for her paperwork to be done, but she wasn't posted on the WC list.

Heather BT

Vivian M said...

Follow your heart. G-d is not exclusive to any one church, temple or faith.

fricke92 said...

Church is so like being in a family that changing is so difficult. Just make sure that YOU still feel like you are being fed and nurtured in the new church. Many folks attend church to feel better about themselves and don't really "get" the deeper connection. And, you can always switch back if the changes you perceive as coming don't materialize.

Yoli said...

We have all been Christened in the Catholic faith, including my children. We are thinking of converting to Buddhism. You have to go where you find God, in whatever form. God is not a physical building or a set of rituals of a certain church attached to him. Go where you find him and you will be honoring him.

The Straight's said...

Of course I am sure you are praying about the right decision. Look for His guidance and you can't go wrong.

Susan said...

I'm sure you'll do the right thing. It's a very important and personal decision, and it's clear that it matters greatly to you.

I happen to be a member of the UMC, so if you want to ask any questions or email privately, please feel free.

Tasha said...

Sometimes it's not necessarily the church per se but it's the people, feelings, community that makes it a church in your life.

An hour is a long way to go to feel connected. For some reason after reading your post, I thought of the Bon Jovi/Sugarland song 'Who says you can't go home'

Good luck! (and remember ... wherever you go this Sunday or next or even for the next year, it isn't a life sentence. )