Monday, February 16, 2009

Church Matters

I have found that it's easier to ignore things when I'm busy. The last few months have been filled with preparations for the chickens, Sweet Adeline stuff, and shuttling Lorna all over the place for horse related stuff. Even though all of our attempts to attend gymkhana shows over the past 4 months have failed we've filled our time with lots of stuff.

The rain and snow over the past 2+ weeks has made everything slow down tremendously. We had planned on having the kids ride in a parade last Saturday but we got 5 inches of snow on Friday making it impossible to get the horse trailer out of the driveway. This is just the way things have been working out.

Due to the slow down Paul and I have had more time to discuss our plans for the future. We have moved around a lot, the longest we have ever lived in one place has been 2.5 years. I think we have been searching for the allusive perfect place. One where Paul has a steady job, we have a great church home, and where we can afford enough land to do what we want. We know we aren't going to ever find such a place so we've been discussing staying here. Paul has the best job he has ever had, the company is wonderful and the opportunity for growth is good. Because this area is sort of rural there is the opportunity to purchase land, not as much as we want but still enough to do something with. The biggest problem we have come up against is the lack of a solid church. It has been easy to ignore the problem because we've filled our time with other things. But as we discuss the probability of actually settling here for a long while I become nervous about the lack of spiritual care. We've tried all the Lutheran churches in an 1.5 hour radius, I even called further out and have found nothing. In fact I've been told there isn't anything like what I'm looking for.

I finally convinced Paul to try the one here in town, after all it's only 15 minutes from our door. The only thing the experience did was make me even more depressed about our options. We knew the church had some quirks but we didn't realize how many. Women leading parts of the service, campfire type songs complete with guitar, open communion, and the children's sermon which was on how we need to try to do what the Bible says because it's all about obedience (no Gospel all Law). All of this really brought home how spoiled we've been in the other places we've lived. I still don't have any idea what we are supposed to do here. I'm not looking for an easy answer but at the same time I don't feel comfortable just ignoring the problem.

Not one of the churches we've visited has had a sermon that contains both Law and Gospel. All but one have women participating in the service and that one has a pastor who doesn't believe communion is important (his own words). When you are faced with driving 1.5 hours the last thing you want to do is settle for a church that has practices that you disagree with. At the same time how do you just give up going to church? Maybe we just aren't looking at things right, but all of our attempts to just go to a church and ignore the stuff we don't agree with have failed. It may be time to try again but I don't know that I can convince myself and the rest of the family to actually do it.


Lisa said...

We have been in the same place and there is no easy answer. Have you looked at churches other than Lutheran? I know that is unheard of for some, my aunt became a Lutheran because her husband's mother threatened to disown him if he became a Baptist. I know we could never stay in a church that did things contrary to what we believed and therefore we are no longer Baptists. God has a place for you, He will never leave you out in the cold:)

Kim said...

We've considered looking at other denominations but then I wonder if we should even bother. If we can't handle attending a Lutheran church that has some issues how much more difficult would it be to attend a church that espouses beliefs completely at odds with our own?

We are going to keep looking and reevaluating what we've already tried. Maybe we will eventually stumble on to a church that we can live with.

Lisa said...

The huge bummer of it all is it seems like ALL denominations are changing. There's bound to be a church that has the same beliefs as you but goes by a different name. We struggled a lot after our last move because down here in the Bible belt there are a lot of Charismatic churches and you have to read practically the whole website before you find the little tip that tells you that. God bless you and guide you on your search!