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Source: (consider it) Thread: What puts you off from setting foot inside a church?
BroJames
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With weddings, where there are some different issues, I encourage one usher to remain by the door until near the end of the first hymn for the benefit of latecomers (parking is. difficult here), and then come in quietly to their seat at the last verse. Would something like that work for you, and avoid the welcomers collectively peering down the path at someone who may already feel conspicuous because of their lateness?
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LutheranChik
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One barrier for me would be denomination. There are some out there so antithetical to my understanding of Christianity , and/ or to me, that I'd no more walk inside than attend a meeting of neo- Nazis.

Other barriers:

Churches with vague, non- church names suggesting they'd been generated by a marketing team: The River, Power House, etc. Just. No.

"We're a church for people who don't like church." Or " Not religious? Neither are we." To me that says " praise music" and dreadful, never-ending sermons by untutored pastors in cabana sgirts.

"Family Church." Usually an indicator of a church that disrespects my family, as well as singles.

Praise band as the default church music -- traditional service, if any, relegated to some sad daybreak time slot.

" Bible church" or " Bible teaching church" or " Bible- believing church" -- as opposed to all those Christian churches without Bibles?

" KJV- only." LOL. No.

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Brenda Clough
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I have always assumed that 'Family' in the church name means 'no gay people, please.' I am not sure what the doctrinal significance of KJV only is -- they believe that the work was written, that Jesus spoke, in 16th century English?

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Arethosemyfeet
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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
I have always assumed that 'Family' in the church name means 'no gay people, please.' I am not sure what the doctrinal significance of KJV only is -- they believe that the work was written, that Jesus spoke, in 16th century English?

I presume it's the same reasoning as treating the Vulgate as the definitive version - you believe that divine guidance perfected that particular translation and no other.
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LutheranChik
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I honestly think that some people think that " Authorized by God. I have heard some people try to argue that the compilers of the KJV were working with the most pristine, "reliable" manuscripts...which is just nonsense. My experience with these folks is that they are usually so provincial and history deprived that they have no concept of the Eastern Church or the Luther Bible or any Bible that existed before the KJV...I once asked one of them how tbey thought Christianity had been transmitted from one generation to the next before the 17th Century, and all I got was sputtering and a warning that I was going to hell.

Barbara: Yes; " Family Church" meaning not only "No gays allowed," but also no straight people outside the category of intact nuclear families with minor children -- no singles, no divorced or widowed people, no single parents who aren't intending to be paired up again as soon as possible.

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LutheranChik
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I have a soft spot for small, historic churches, and I too feel bad when I'm visiting and the people greeting me seem so desperate to have me join the congregation.

We are in a temporary living situation while we house- hunt in another part of the state, so we've become free agents, churchwise. This past Ash Wednesday, after a solemn and surprising high up the candle service at the struggling local UCC church, a woman came up to me, introduced herself, asked me what brought me to church that evening...and hugged me...and followed me nearly out the door trying to convince me why I should keep going there. This is a congregation of maybe 40 people on a good Sunday, that is cut by about a third in the wintertime when people go South. I feel for their situation,but..I felt GUILTY having to tell this poor lady that I wasn't going to join her congregation. I don't think this church has the wherewithal for trained greeters, but in churches that do designate them, I'd suggest even casual training about how to be friendly and helpful without seeming needy or overbearing.

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Al Eluia

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To LutheranChik's list I would add:

If the current pastor inherited the job from his father. Examples would be Joel Osteen, who took over his Houston church from his dad, and Donny Swaggart, son of Jimmy.

Any church that describes itself as "Spirit-filled."

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Al Eluia

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quote:
Originally posted by Arethosemyfeet:

I presume it's the same reasoning as treating the Vulgate as the definitive version - you believe that divine guidance perfected that particular translation and no other. [/QB]

That, plus for some KJV-only folks there's a conspiracy theory that all the modern Biblical scholars who have produced modern translations are determined to deny and tear down the Word of God.

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by LutheranChik:
One barrier for me would be denomination. There are some out there so antithetical to my understanding of Christianity , and/ or to me, that I'd no more walk inside than attend a meeting of neo- Nazis.

Other barriers:

Churches with vague, non- church names suggesting they'd been generated by a marketing team: The River, Power House, etc. Just. No.

"We're a church for people who don't like church." Or " Not religious? Neither are we." To me that says " praise music" and dreadful, never-ending sermons by untutored pastors in cabana sgirts.

"Family Church." Usually an indicator of a church that disrespects my family, as well as singles.

Praise band as the default church music -- traditional service, if any, relegated to some sad daybreak time slot.

" Bible church" or " Bible teaching church" or " Bible- believing church" -- as opposed to all those Christian churches without Bibles?

" KJV- only." LOL. No.

While I share a lot of these - are there any churches left after you've excluded all of these?

Problem is you could conceive of a really, really, good church that advertised it was "family" and "for people who don't like church". It's just that they don't tend to be quite how you might like to be able to interpret those descriptions. I know I sure as Hell need a church for people who don't like church, because I don't like church.

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by Al Eluia:
quote:
Originally posted by Arethosemyfeet:

I presume it's the same reasoning as treating the Vulgate as the definitive version - you believe that divine guidance perfected that particular translation and no other.

That, plus for some KJV-only folks there's a conspiracy theory that all the modern Biblical scholars who have produced modern translations are determined to deny and tear down the Word of God. [/QB]
There are fruitcake websites devoted to ranting about that.

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Brenda Clough
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I must assume that these folks do not read genre novels. All those SF novels in which the hero goes back to 300 AD or something and discovers that the Latin drummed into his head in school is pronounced entirely differently on the banks of the Tiber by the real Romans.
If you borrowed the Wells time machine and zipped back to BC 03 (no point in trying to talk to the Christ -after- His resurrection, He seems to have been booked solid) and actually scraped up a chat with Jesus at the wedding at Cana ("Are you on the bride's side, or the groom's?"), would He reply in KJV English?
A thesis could be made that many of humanity's self-generated problems are rooted in a want of imagination.

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Pangolin Guerre
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Well, I'll put my oar in. I'm a great proponent of the KJV, Merbecke, etc., but I'm under no illusion that my preference is mostly aesthetic, and the rest is otherwise subjective, as well. I know that if Jesus spoke 17thC English, it would be heavily accented [Biased] . Non-KJV is not a deal breaker for me, just a preference.

The whole "family church" self-description puts me off, as it's code, to my mind, as reproducing heterosexual couples. What church isn't a family church? Aren't they all, or should be, without having to say so? One of the places I visit regularly does not describe itself that way, but my godsons (9 and 6), and the other kids are made very welcome, and it has a very diverse congregation, ethnically, generationally, sexually.

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Clutch
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Might as well add mine to the list:

Megachurches: Most of these places these days tend to be IMO, places where a supposedly friendly version of Non-christianity are practised. I think the recent events going on in Houston and Joel Osteen's church tend to support my argument.

A hostile enviroment: You can generally get a sense as soon as you walk in if a church will fit you or not by how the congregation acts. a hostile feeling place, no matter the type tends to turn me off rather then let me settle down.

In contrast to LutheranChik, I feel less comfortable around non-denmiational churches then ones that list one. I like walking into a place where even if I don't agree with every point of their theology, I can understand it. Non-Denoms to me aren't clear cut.

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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Clutch - you're new here. Can I suggest more careful about reading other people's posts? You've dramatically misunderstood LutheranChik here, and I'm pretty sure you're not actually addressing what I'm saying in the Agnosticism thread as well.

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LutheranChik
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Um...yeah. Not sure, Clutch, where you got the idea that I was a fan of non- denominational churches.I am not, for a variety of reasons.

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by LutheranChik:
Um...yeah. Not sure, Clutch, where you got the idea that I was a fan of non- denominational churches.I am not, for a variety of reasons.

I'd guess from the first sentence of your post:
quote:
Originally posted by LutheranChik:
One barrier for me would be denomination.

I assume he read that as meaning you're turned off by denominations in general, not as meaning that the denominational affiliation of a congregation would be a major indicator of whether you'd want to darken the door.

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Bishops Finger
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One small clew to LutheranChik's preferences might be in her name, no?

IJ

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L'organist
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Where the noticeboard doesn't list service times but "Worship".

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Bishops Finger
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Along the same lines, services being advertised as 'Morning' or 'Evening' Worship. Actually, it's God who is to be worshipped, though I see what they mean...

IJ

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BroJames
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quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
Along the same lines, services being advertised as 'Morning' or 'Evening' Worship. Actually, it's God who is to be worshipped, though I see what they mean...

IJ

Though that is often done because a church has a varied pattern. E.g. 1st Sunday 8.00 BCP Holy Communion, 10.00 Parish Communion (Order 1); 2nd Sunday 8.00 Order 1 Holy Communion, 10.00 All age service; 3rd Sunday, 8.00 BCP Holy Communion 10.00 Morning Prayer on Sunday (Mattins)(Sung); 4th Sunday 8.00 Order 1 Holy Communion, 10.00 Parish Communion (Order 1) can make for quite a full and confusing noticeboard.
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Angloid
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Yes but if the times are there why do they need to specify if the worship is 'morning' or 'evening'? I know many people (even Anglicans) aren't that bothered whether a service is a Eucharist or not, but many of us are and it would be helpful to specify that. Or if it is too complicated, add a note such as 'Holy Communion is celebrated regularly; please see the porch notice for times.'
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Bishops Finger
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Well, quite. If there is a varying pattern, something like 'Sunday services at 8am, 10am, and 630pm - see porch notice for full details' would suffice.

IJ

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Pigwidgeon

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quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
Along the same lines, services being advertised as 'Morning' or 'Evening' Worship. Actually, it's God who is to be worshipped, though I see what they mean...

IJ

I feel the same way about "Sunday worship."

I know we're supposed to keep the Sabbath Day holy, but certainly not to worship it.

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Bishops Finger
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Even worse, perhaps, is 'Family Worship'. Again, I think I know what they mean, but.... [Ultra confused]

IJ

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Pigwidgeon

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quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
Even worse, perhaps, is 'Family Worship'. Again, I think I know what they mean, but.... [Ultra confused]

IJ

OMG, yes! I'd (luckily) forgotten that one.

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
Along the same lines, services being advertised as 'Morning' or 'Evening' Worship.

I see your point about the tautology ... but BBC Radio 3 has offered a "Lunchtime Concert" at 1 pm for many years. Should it just be billed in the listings as "Concert"?

Anyway, what are you going to do with services such as "Matins" and "Evensong" which imply a certain time of day? (Even though the "Even-" bit gets stretched back in some cathedrals to about 3.15 pm!)

[ 02. September 2017, 22:11: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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Gramps49
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LC: I guess I better not invite you to my son's church in St. Charles MO. It is called "The Bridge." However, it does have a great coffee house and free trade market--and I know you like good coffee and free trade.

When I read non-denominational, I see "Baptist," not that I won't go to a Baptist service.

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Curiosity killed ...

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Baptist Trainfan, those Radio 3 Lunchtime concerts are usually broadcast live at lunchtime, 1:15pm, when I normally expect concerts in the evening. (I have been in the audience on occasion)

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daisymay

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I am going to the church and it s vety and I have to carry church,

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mrs whibley
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quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
Even worse, perhaps, is 'Family Worship'. Again, I think I know what they mean, but.... [Ultra confused]

IJ

I've been to the occasional service where that was precisely what they meant. And not just on Mothering Sunday. [Roll Eyes]

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SvitlanaV2
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In British terms it just means all age worship, doesn't it?

For introverted, ageing, bookish types it's not the best thing in the world, but since most of our churches are chronically short of children it's not hard to see why special attention is given to people who bring kids along.

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mrs whibley
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
In British terms it just means all age worship, doesn't it?

For introverted, ageing, bookish types it's not the best thing in the world, but since most of our churches are chronically short of children it's not hard to see why special attention is given to people who bring kids along.

This should be the case. However, what I'm taking about is places where the children are told that adults who don't join in with the actions to children's songs don't like kids; where people have told me that Sundays are for Family (as if that were a core Bibilcal teaching); where during the Children's talk the adults are addressed as 'Mums and Dads' and so on.
(Sorry, I'm slightly bitter about that particular church.)

Of course, this doesn't happen in every church which has a 'Family Service', and thankfully that sort of codswallop rarely comes from the pulpit. But as a childless person it does serve as a flag to make me slightly careful.

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Angloid
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:


Anyway, what are you going to do with services such as "Matins" and "Evensong" which imply a certain time of day? (Even though the "Even-" bit gets stretched back in some cathedrals to about 3.15 pm!)

It's perhaps inconsistent to complain about tautology and yet talk about "Matins" etc. But at least Matins and Evensong (aka Morning and Evening Prayer, with initial capitals) have specific liturgies in the Prayer Book. I get the impression that 'Morning Worship' is more of a general service of praise which may or may not specifically relate to the time of day.

Making fun of ambiguous or redundant wording on noticeboards is an occupation beloved by us pedantic nit-pickers. Like the instruction on the Underground to carry dogs when using the escalators.

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Baptist Trainfan
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Yes, I thought about those service "titles" too.

I've always chuckled about those dogs ... And, of course, there's the apocryphal story of the man who hangs around at the bottom of the escalator but doesn't get on. On eventually being approached by an LT employee he explains that he can't go up as he hasn't got a dog.

I also like the sign "Disabled toilets"; personally, I prefer to use toilets that work. And don't get me started on "Parent and child parking" spaces at supermarkets!

[ 03. September 2017, 13:41: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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L'organist
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All-Age Worship in my local church (not where I play) is the worst. Action songs, patronising talk about "our mums and dads", no communion, one reading (in a style that is a cross between Patience Strong and Enid Blyton) and much emphasis on cup-cakes and coffee. No communion, no penitential rite, no creed. The incumbent is a non-residentiary canon who I'm informed has been told to get their act together but so far no sign of that happening [Ultra confused]

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
Yes, I thought about those service "titles" too.

I've always chuckled about those dogs ... And, of course, there's the apocryphal story of the man who hangs around at the bottom of the escalator but doesn't get on. On eventually being approached by an LT employee he explains that he can't go up as he hasn't got a dog.

I also like the sign "Disabled toilets"; personally, I prefer to use toilets that work. And don't get me started on "Parent and child parking" spaces at supermarkets!

I too much prefer toilets that work. And I get similar thoughts when I see the sign, 'This door is alarmed".

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
All-Age Worship in my local church (not where I play) is the worst. Action songs, patronising talk about "our mums and dads", no communion, one reading (in a style that is a cross between Patience Strong and Enid Blyton) and much emphasis on cup-cakes and coffee. No communion, no penitential rite, no creed. The incumbent is a non-residentiary canon who I'm informed has been told to get their act together but so far no sign of that happening [Ultra confused]

I perfectly understand that you don't like this kind of worship, and find it lacking in all sorts of ways. But there is, I think, an assumption behind what you write, which is that liturgical and formal "traditional" worship is right and that the worship you describe is simply wrong.

But can you really assert that, bearing in mind that there are so many styles of Christian worship around the world (and even in our own country)?

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by mrs whibley:
What I'm taking about is places where the children are told that adults who don't join in with the actions to children's songs don't like kids; where people have told me that Sundays are for Family (as if that were a core Bibilcal teaching); where during the Children's talk the adults are addressed as 'Mums and Dads' and so on.
(Sorry, I'm slightly bitter about that particular church.)

Of course, this doesn't happen in every church which has a 'Family Service', and thankfully that sort of codswallop rarely comes from the pulpit. But as a childless person it does serve as a flag to make me slightly careful.

Well, now you've learned your lesson! An elderly couple presumably wouldn't set food in a church designed for lively young people in their teens and twenties, and childless ladies such and you and I ought to avoid 'family worship'.

OTOH, I must say that in the Methodist Church, which is what I know best, the adults always make an effort to participate during all age services. That's probably because most of them are elderly people and they genuinely want to encourage the little children's efforts. (And the ministers wouldn't call them 'mums and dads' - more like 'grans/nans and granddads'. This seems less offensive).

Your experience was presumably at a CofE church? The vibes are probably different there. Worshippers there seem to expect more formality at all times (unless you're at one of those charismatic services).

[ 03. September 2017, 14:41: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

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L'organist
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Baptist Trainfan
The diocesan bishop (a breed not necessarily known for their enthusiasm to grasp nettles) is finally trying to get answers to many questions, not least how it is that the electoral role of the parish has shrunk by 70% in 4 years...

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Baptist Trainfan
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Fair enough, and that's good. And I agree that a church, if Anglican, should do things in certain ways.

But that doesn't really answer my more basic question.

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mrs whibley
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Svitlana - it was Church of Scotland, make of that what you will. There was a slightly Calvinist undercurrent, leading to all sorts of pressure to conform in arbitrary ways. I retreated to the Episcopalians in the end.

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Augustine the Aleut
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Apropos Baptist Trainfan's recent post, it is not as much a matter of right and wrong ways to worship, but that one is sometimes not certain at all if it is worship. I have sat through a few similar events where it gave me the flavour of a circle of people affirming that they were just fine and were socializing. The programme was not far off that which was described. I would not have called it wrong, but I wondered if it could be called worship unless, of course, they were worshipping themselves. Still, others' definitions may vary.
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Angloid
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
All-Age Worship in my local church (not where I play) is the worst. Action songs, patronising talk about "our mums and dads", no communion, one reading (in a style that is a cross between Patience Strong and Enid Blyton) and much emphasis on cup-cakes and coffee. No communion, no penitential rite, no creed. The incumbent is a non-residentiary canon who I'm informed has been told to get their act together but so far no sign of that happening [Ultra confused]

I perfectly understand that you don't like this kind of worship, and find it lacking in all sorts of ways. But there is, I think, an assumption behind what you write, which is that liturgical and formal "traditional" worship is right and that the worship you describe is simply wrong.

But can you really assert that, bearing in mind that there are so many styles of Christian worship around the world (and even in our own country)?

But it is wrong,in the context of the Church of England. Not necessarily in the context of the wider church, and probably not in terms of absolute morals. But the C of E has rules about its worship, and flexible as they are they do not allow for such flexibility as l'Organist describes.

Surely an Anglican (or any other) visitor to an Anglican church should expect to find something recognisably Anglican in the way that community worships?

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SvitlanaV2
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Trouble is, many ordinary 'mums and dads' with noisy youngsters probably don't know or care what being 'recognisably Anglican' means.

But the ongoing decline of the CofE could well discourage these people from 'setting foot inside a church', and as many churches get smaller and numbers of clergy fewer there'll probably be less energy and enthusiasm for unsuitable worship practices.

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ThunderBunk

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A culture that doesn't know itself, its own history, the range of options that it brings with itself as a result both of its range of current practices and its history, will die. That is inevitable because it can't then regenerate from its own resources.

But don't let that put anyone off asinine nonsense.

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Currently mostly furious, and occasionally foolish. Normal service may resume eventually. Or it may not. And remember children, "feiern ist wichtig".

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Angloid
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
Trouble is, many ordinary 'mums and dads' with noisy youngsters probably don't know or care what being 'recognisably Anglican' means.

But the ongoing decline of the CofE could well discourage these people from 'setting foot inside a church', and as many churches get smaller and numbers of clergy fewer there'll probably be less energy and enthusiasm for unsuitable worship practices.

What do you mean by 'unsuitable worship practices'? The style of worship probably comes way down the list of things ordinary 'mums and dads' (cringe) are looking for. What they want is to be welcomed into a warm and inclusive worshipping community which is confident about its faith and its approach. One of the most successful churches I know with young families has a liturgy which has hardly changed since the 1920s Anglo-Catholic congresses.
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SvitlanaV2
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By 'unsuitable worship practices' I'm obviously referring to those practices that you and others consider to be unsuitable for worship in the CofE.

That Anglo-Catholic church whose worship is both suitable for the CofE and attractive to young families is obviously somewhere very special.

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Curiosity killed ...

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Churches that are confident in what they believe and welcoming are those that are surviving and growing - that is what the research is showing. The form of worship is less important in that equation. A confident liberal church can be just as attractive in these circumstances.

Churches frantically chasing the latest trend to attract congregants do not appear confident in what they believe. Churches that talk down to their congregants do not feel welcoming or sure of their beliefs, or the beliefs of their congregants.

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Al Eluia

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quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
Churches that are confident in what they believe and welcoming are those that are surviving and growing - that is what the research is showing. The form of worship is less important in that equation. A confident liberal church can be just as attractive in these circumstances.

I think there's a lot to that. Certainty sells. Confusion doesn't. There's a fine line between being broadminded and welcoming of a wide variety of viewpoints on the one hand and dithering about what one believes on the other. If a church isn't confident about its core beliefs and principles--one of which I hope is broadmindedness--then it's more likely to wither and die. Say what you will about megachurches, they tend to be confident about what they believe and teach and make a huge effort to be welcoming. That's something those of us on the liberal/progressive end of the Christian spectrum can learn from. It doesn't mean we have to slavishly copy them, of course.

[ 04. September 2017, 06:11: Message edited by: Al Eluia ]

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by mrs whibley:
quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
In British terms it just means all age worship, doesn't it?

For introverted, ageing, bookish types it's not the best thing in the world, but since most of our churches are chronically short of children it's not hard to see why special attention is given to people who bring kids along.

This should be the case. However, what I'm taking about is places where the children are told that adults who don't join in with the actions to children's songs don't like kids
Blimey. What do they make of kids who'd rather eat their own earwax than join in with the actions? I've got two myself, and one was one.

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