Since moving to Kansas City I have been on the hunt for a new church. Fortunately, living so close to the bible belt of the US means there are churches everywhere you turn! Unfortunately, I’m a bit picky when it comes to what church I attend. I’m one of those insanely liberal Christians that get offended when someone assumes otherwise. I’m a big hippie (for lack of a better term) when it comes to God. I believe everyone is loved by a higher power and that all faiths and religions have their merits.
A bit of a background about my religious path, I grew up congregationalist and then non-denominational. I went to a UCC church during my college years and had been attending a Methodist church more recently when we lived in The City.
Admittedly, the fall is a terrible time to go church hunting because well, FOOTBALL is on Sundays too! The Scottish is a huge Bears fan and even though he’ll attend church on game day, he refuses to miss kick-off. Another reason the fall is kind of a bummer for church hopping is that it’s usually stewardship season which means most churches are running their annual campaigns encouraging the congregation to focus on their monetary giving and financial donations. Kind of intimidating to newcomers.
Regardless, we’ve been to two different Methodist churches so far and I’m at a crossroads. One of the churches is reconciling and one of them is not. A reconciling church means they are accepting of all people regardless of sexual orientation. This is so important to me. I have a hard time feeling welcome in a place that not everyone is welcome.
So to should be easy enough then? Go to the reconciling church? Not so fast. The pro gay/lesbian church is quite a bit farther away while the other one is right by our apartment. The reconciling church’s Pastor was boring and forgettable and while we did feel welcomed, I wasn’t getting a good vibe. The other church’s Pastor sought us out to say hello before the service and the overall atmosphere was just warmer. I could picture myself attending that church. What’s a girl to do?
Neither church was perfect but that’s OK because I’m not perfect either. I’m just looking for a place to cultivate my spiritual life. I’m in the market for a new community that makes both me and my agnostic husband feel at home (not an easy task). And I’m interested in volunteering more and making new friends.
Which leads me to my next question? Why do I need to be at a reconciling church? What if I’m supposed to be spreading God’s message of loving all people to a new community for the time we are in Kansas. Maybe I can make a difference by opening just one other person’s eyes. Maybe it will be easier to spread this message of change when I’m not surrounded by like-minded people.
It probably doesn’t matter where we attend church this coming Sunday. It just matters how we live our lives. I’m going to continue to keep an open mind for both churches at this point.
What are your experiences in looking for a new church after a big move?