A year ago my family and I embarked on an adventure. We started church shopping but this time something was different. Instead of retreating to another acceptable Presbyterian or Non denominational church I threw a curve ball and went denominational. We visited Catholic, Episcopalian, and Lutheran churches instead. I loved the liturgy and traditional hymns since it was a 180 degree diffference from my past low church experience. We finally found a home in an elca Lutheran church where we knew a couple of families that were long term members.
When I went to meet with the pastor about possibly joining th parish I noticed the bookshelf in his office. He had many of the same authors I did which was wierd because I was reading lots of Catholic authors at the time. Whenever I meet one on one with my pastor I feel like I have finally met someone who gets me. He has also read lots of church history and knows about all of the German higher critics up to the Christ myth theorists of today. Also at the time I was coming back to belief and my I pastor is an old school Orthodox Christian that helped steer me back on the right path.
The best thing about my new church is the people. Everybody I have met is really nice and even the people in the congregation known as trouble makers are a piece of cake compared to folks I have dealt with in my past. Removing the irritant of being around people so different than me has done wonders. People who I havent seen for a while have noticed a huge change in me. Now when I am at church I can be myself and realize I am among friends and I have nothing to fear.
Now I am on church council and have a couple of other roles as well. It is strange to be wanted and needed for once just as I am. I even went to a synod meeting and got to talk to the area bishop and realized he was cool and accessible too. It really took me getting angry enough to get motivated to searching for a new church tradition. Is it perfect? No, but it is a great place for me to go with my family and heal and for once start to contribute to help fix the problems I see.