Reasons to go to church

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Marilyn McEntyre writes about why she goes to church: There are lots of stories of why people don’t go to church but she offers some reasons to take another look. Excerpts

Here are five reasons, not necessarily in order of importance, I would give the reluctant and the skeptical to check out church, despite their reservations:

A healthy church will help you get over yourself. One of the primary aims of good preaching is to invite us into a story much larger than our own.

A healthy church will allow you to acknowledge guilt and experience forgiveness. As Toni Morrison’s wonderful character Baby Suggs puts it to her congregation, here you can come to “lay it all down.” It may not seem that acknowledging guilt would be a particularly attractive reason to attend church, but you find, if you do it, that it’s amazingly restorative.

A healthy church will invite you into countercultural community. It won’t be an extension program in civil religion.

 

A healthy church will give you access to a treasury of words and music. It will bring you into a centuries-old conversation that includes the whole “communion of saints.” Where else are you likely to encounter words like “blessing” or “grace” or “parable” or “holy” or, for that matter, “shibboleth” or “Sabaoth”? Where else are you likely to encounter a conversation that takes you to the ancient world and back, bearing gifts for the present, sometimes wrapped in antique language?

Healthy churches are places of divine encounter. Singing is one way to “enter into God’s courts.” … When we sing we learn viscerally and audibly what it means to be “one in the Spirit.”

Hearing sacred texts read aloud also brings us into alignment with others who inhabit the same story. It is our story—all of ours—available to be entered and explored like a great territorial preserve.

And the Eucharist, the Lord’s Supper, Holy Communion—whatever name it is given in a particular denominational tradition—has become, for me, Protestant that I am, the moment of encounter I most eagerly await when I go to church. ,

Distracted, reluctant, confused, or apathetic you may be on any given Sunday, but if you go, something will happen.

Read it all here.

Why do you go to church regularly?

 


 

Image: All Saints Episcopal Church Pasadena

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Suzanne Husting
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Ok, but why would one choose NOT to go to church regularly? Having grown up attending Sunday school and church, singing in choirs, going through confirmation first as a Presbyterian at age 12, then as an Episcopalian at age 40, I now find myself at the "deep end" of life with more questions than answers. My largest question has to do with the concept of salvation itself. How does belief that Christ died for our sins differ in any way from other religions that sacrificed innocents to atone for their sins? I am having more and more difficulty with this tenet of faith, and feeling more and more estranged from the church as a whole. Can one be a follower of Christ without accepting the concept of salvation through Christ?

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richmondgal1
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richmondgal1

[richmondgal1 - please sign your first and last name when you comment. Thanks Editor.]

Love the last one: a place of divine encounter. Yes! I grow, I am changed, my relationship with God deepens.

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Rosemary Phillips
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Rosemary Phillips

Fun, food, fellowship, and food....and hugs always hugs.

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Meredith Hales
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Meredith Hales

The Eucharist is paramount. To sing, to be in community with other believers, to bolster my faith and to hear and pray the beautiful words of the BCP.

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Tim Lusk
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Tim Lusk

In his book Will our Children have Faith John Westerhoff talked of habits buildt from childhood. I was loved into a church full of blue haired ladies with dead animals on their shoulds..hays on their heads...and gloves on their hands. Because of their unconditional love I grew into a habit that is with me as a enter by sixth decade.

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Carol Ericsson
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Carol Ericsson

1. The Eucharist... 2. The Sermon ... 3. The Choir... 4. Friends... 5. The Tradition and Elegance of The Episcopal Church...

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