When you stop going to church

Lastpointe

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,247
Reaction score
1,453
I am in a dilemma. I am a believer. Church has always been an important part of my life.

But then when I was about 40 we discovered skiing and our weekends changed. That quickly evolved to year round weekend changes after we bought a country place to use for skiing but used it year round

And now 20 years later we seldom attend church. We still are big givers to our church but we are just never in the city

So now I feel a bit like a fraud.

How do you accommodate life with church?
 

BetteTheRed

Resident Heretic
Messages
14,446
Reaction score
7,968
Do you know people at the church you attend? Are there any you socialize with who belong to a particular team/group? I know a number of people at our church who stay connected via a Wednesday morning bible study, a Tuesday night progressive theology discussion, a bi-weekly pie making bee (the Holy Rollers). I'm not sure 'worship' is a requirement to be in community with other people with similar other-focused goals. One of our hugest supporters are a farm family, extended, with a large commercial 'public' feature - petting zoos, pick your own pumpkin, play with the bunny type family stuff. We don't see both/either of them, nor their involved children, always on Sunday morning, but they're just always around when needed.

I guess that what I'm saying is that if your congregation isn't your community in some way, maybe ask why? Is there another congregation close enough to you geographically 'where you really are'?

I honestly think I don't understand congregation without community.
 

ChemGal

One with keen eye
Messages
11,283
Reaction score
3,189
I am in a dilemma. I am a believer. Church has always been an important part of my life.

But then when I was about 40 we discovered skiing and our weekends changed. That quickly evolved to year round weekend changes after we bought a country place to use for skiing but used it year round

And now 20 years later we seldom attend church. We still are big givers to our church but we are just never in the city

So now I feel a bit like a fraud.

How do you accommodate life with church?
I am an admin on the facebook group and the last time I stepped foot in a church was for a Blue Christmas service. Before that, I'm not really sure, the 2 funerals last year weren't in a church. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
 

Pavlos Maros

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,518
Reaction score
387
I am in a dilemma. I am a believer. Church has always been an important part of my life. < snip>
How do you accommodate life with church?
You don't, lest you be a hypocrite, If you have remained religious throughout then doesn't Matthew 6:5 - 8
absolve you.
 

paradox3

WC/ WC2 alumna
Messages
9,837
Reaction score
4,174
Is there another congregation close enough to you geographically 'where you really are'?
This was my first reaction to @Lastpointe 's question.

Lastpointe, if you are spending so much of your time at your country place, it might be a good idea to search out a congregation in that location. There shouldn't be any reason to live without church unless you make that choice. Which would be fine, of course, but the wording of your question suggests to me you miss having a connection (other than financial) to a congregation.
 

paradox3

WC/ WC2 alumna
Messages
9,837
Reaction score
4,174
Another thought FWIW. In my experience, not attending church can become a habit very, very quickly.
 

Pavlos Maros

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,518
Reaction score
387
Another thought FWIW. In my experience, not attending church can become a habit very, very quickly.
And what would be wrong with that? Matt 6: 5 - 8. You did a whole thing on the gospels. did you ignore that bit?
 

Carolla

wondering & wandering
Messages
6,909
Reaction score
5,076
We have at least one family such as yours Lastpointe. Rarely seen on Sunday due to being out of town. But one member of that family is very connected to various events within the church & also hosts a monthly tea - I suppose that is where she keeps in touch with many who are important to her.

I think one UCC in my community has a Wed evening service - for those people who for reasons of travel, leisure, weekend employment, kids sports etc cannot make it to Sunday worship.
 

ninjafaery

I just Am
Messages
1,329
Reaction score
404
For many years I worked Sundays and couldn't attend, but I accompanied several people I supported over that span and that was uplifting usually. Went away singing (a good sign). I don't want to slag any denomination. There are good, helpful people everywhere...as long as one avoids certain topics :eek: in the more conservative churches. One of the most kind & understanding pastors I encountered had a small evangelical congregation.
 

ninjafaery

I just Am
Messages
1,329
Reaction score
404
I haven't gone back despite being retired. I'm Anglican originally and feel "at home" in that church, but never connected to a local congregation.
 

Mendalla

Eastern Lowland Gorilla
Messages
26,926
Reaction score
14,464
How do you accommodate life with church?
Really, for me, the ideal would be church being part of life and prioritized along with everything else, not a dichotomy. It's not that you're trying to balance church and life so much as deciding where church fits in with everything else in life. Ditto work. Instead of talking about work-life balance, it's really about work-rest of life balance. Work is part of life.

It is also informed by how you view church. If church is seen as some kind of social or spiritual obligation to be carried out, then maybe the dichotomy is more pronounced. If church is something you are doing willingly and are interested in, then it is likely easier to fit in with other things because you're more likely to view it positively.

On a related note, I am eyeing a return to the UU fellowship. Was reading the May newsletter today (they post it publicly on their website) and the tone was quite upbeat and things do seem to be happening there again, versus the somewhat defeatist vibe I was getting when I left. 6 new members at the last membership service, some adult RE happening, they are finally fixing up the RE wing of the building (long needed, IMHO, but I was never involved enough in RE to really be the one to champion it). Also, the current part-time minister has a vibe I like, but I already knew that from past visits when he was preaching. He's on contract, though, so I'm not sure if he'll be back in the Fall.
 
Last edited:

Tabitha

journeying
Messages
6,440
Reaction score
4,058
Is there a church near your cottage/cabin/camp? (recognizing a variety of names). Not when skiing but other weekends you could pop in for a service and see if that suits.
 

Lastpointe

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,247
Reaction score
1,453
Thanks for all the input everyone

I do still stay involved through my woman’s group

But I also agree with the statement that you get out of the routine. It feels tricky to restart it
 

BetteTheRed

Resident Heretic
Messages
14,446
Reaction score
7,968
I do still stay involved through my woman’s group
Sometimes, that's enough. There's plenty of people at the Tuesday Night Progressive Christianity group I lead, and the Wednesday morning lectio divina bible study that I attend, who don't worship in the sanctuary on Sundays. Some go nowhere, some go to different churches. We have a couple of lovely young guys (one has moved), in their early 30s, who can't do the hymns on Sunday morning. I mean, we try, but we're a United Church with plenty of members who like "Heritage Hymns"...
 
Top