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ashpenaz

Where do you go to church?

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ashpenaz

I am a single man in my late 50s. I have been to several churches in my community, but I feel uncomfortable since they tend to revolve around families. Also, being asexual makes me sensitive to GLBTA issues, and it's important that my church be progressive. These criteria really seem to limit where I can go to church. I'm thinking about not going to church at all, and being a "free-lance" Christian, but that seems sort of a cop-out. What are other older asexuals doing about church in their lives?

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faraday☘

Full disclosure, I'm atheist.  But I grew up going to church.  I found that most traditional churches were very discriminatory.  From the fundamentals of religious beliefs about God(s), it is one of compassion and expectance.  However, it was the people who were unaccepting.  I had a very different experience when attending nondenominational churches.  I attended one in San Fransisco and one in Indianapolis.  Both were accepting of everyone, and it was a very positive experience.:smile: 

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Muledeer

I don't go to church.

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daveb

I am also an atheist and haven't gone to church in decades. But if you're looking for an accepting church/community 2 options that seem to be more in that line are Unitarians and Quakers - just judging from 2nd hand information, talking to friends and other people.

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Calix Stay

I'm an Episcopalian, and also a postulant Franciscan friar in the Order of St. Francis.  I'm heavy-duty churchy, and I feel confident in saying that the Episcopal church works very hard to live up to it's motto of "all are welcome", and many of them either have active ministries to the LGBTQA communities, or at th' very least are wholly open with welcoming you both to church and to Christ's table.  We openly welcome lots of people from across ALL th' various human spectrums, including sexual and neurological / physical ones.  You may wish to go and visit!

Oh, and I can also chime in with what DaveB said in th' post above:  Unitarian Universalists are generally very welcoming to "divergent" populations as well, and most that I've visited or heard about are very active and open. 

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ashpenaz

Those are good ideas. Church is a mixed bag. I'm still not sure what role I want it to play in my life.

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UrbanPrimitive

I found a church that really means it when they say they support full inclusion. You might consider looking up the Blue Ocean Faith network of churches. My branch has two pastors, one a married man, the other a married lesbian woman who also happens to be a close friend. I'm out as grey-sexual with no ill experience as a result. It's worth checking out if you're trying to find a spiritual community that is genuinely supportive.

The baseline function of the church is using the "3rd Way" approach, which states that any time there is a reasonable debate about how to interpret the bible, always err on the side of total inclusion. The net result is a community that values each other as humans more than being right. In essence, it's a church that focuses on human community and connection that is tolerant of disagreement so long as everyone is treated with respect.

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Techie

My denomination (United Church of Christ - ucc.org) is very liberal and my own church has been very pro LGBTQ (they hung a giant rainbow out in front after the Supreme Court ruling on same sex marriage).  We have several LGBTQ members and they have performed same sex weddings for many years when they became legal in New York. The only sticking point for me right now is the absence of Asexuality. LGBTQ comes up occasionally in sermons as well as newsletters but never the "A". I will grant that the church being about "love", and that including love between life partners, single celibate asexuals such as myself do not quite fit. That is unless you look at the single unmarried life of the apostle Paul. 

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festiff

Wherever the funeral I have to go to is taking place. That sadly tends to be my main reason for going to church. 

 

I was raised Roman catholic. On the subject of god and religion, my response is "don't know".  I do however consider myself as an unaligned Christian in that I use teachings of Jesus as a guide to how to live but not the only guide. Just be as good as possible is my moral philosophy.

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ben8884

I was raised as a Quaker and they tend to be liberal. Right now I go to Baptist Church that is liberal.

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UncommonNonsense

Atheist here.  So I don't go anywhere near churches. 

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sparklingstars

I go to a Unitarian-Universalist church, and I would definitely recommend them.  They are very accepting of everyone, regardless of sexual orientation (or race, or anything else that others might discriminate against) and they tend to be very kind people in general.  And they will welcome you no matter what your religious beliefs are.

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vox.a.m.

Was raised Catholic and, although I take a somewhat detached almost anthropological view of some of their teachings (ironically, it was the nuns I had in my twelve years of Catholic school that taught me to think for myself, never accept doctrine blindly, and that oral tradition takes a backseat to scientific findings, facts, and proof), I still find comfort and a sense of stability going to Mass.  More so since the transition to Pope Francis and his more live-and-let-live views (vs Benedict before him).  I have tried going to services at other types of churches, more energetic "worship groups", pagan ceremonies, all different things.  Almost every member of my family is a different denomination, including a Baptist grandfather, a Lutheran father, Presbyterian great-aunt, one sister who claims to be a satanist, and another who is agnostic.  Most of my friends whose religious inclinations I know (it isn't a subject I tend to broach in general conversation) are atheists.  So, a lot of exposure one way or another over the years.  Everything has its benefits (...except, at least for me, those poppy, high-energy, mega-church style services; I had to leave the one I tried to attend for laughing and refused a few invitations to others because of the message of ignorance if not outright hatred I heard being promoted there), but, there is something very grounding for me to participate in a classic, more reserved service, ideally in an older building that has a reverential presence all its own, that allows me to insulate and reflect on my own while still feeling somewhat a part of a community.   Of course, to each their own.  Only my two cents. :)

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TerrysAwake

I'M just guessing from your username that you live in Arizona. I live in Peoria. Even though I'M agnostic, one time I went to MCC (in Phoenix). Found the pastor and people very nice. They except everyone. Early morning service (on Sunday) is best.

I hope this helps and that you are in the Phoenix area. If not, I wish you luck. Be well....Terry '"', (•¿<) ,,,, 

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Mysticus Insanus

Nowhere. I'm spiritual, but not religious, and haven't been part of any established/organized religious community, not even on paper anymore, since... 2003? 2004? Somewhere around that time.

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Thea2
On 30/11/2016 at 6:07 AM, Mysticus Insanus said:

Nowhere. I'm spiritual, but not religious, and haven't been part of any established/organized religious community, ...

 

Idem, since 1967.  But, I do believe in God.

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ashpenaz

The range of experiences here match mine! :) I like the sacramentality of Catholicism and the freedom of the UCC and Unitarians. I like worshipping by myself and worshipping with a community. There isn't a one-size-fits-all church, and going it alone works for me sometimes, but not always. I guess I'll have to let go and let God!

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bittersweet988

I don't go to church. 

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imnotafreakofnature!

I was a churchaholic for most of my life, and I was very hardcore about my beliefs. After 30+ years, during which time my life continued on a downward spiral and seemed to get worse the more I tried to serve "god" (or at least the god of my understanding), I finally said, "god, if that's all you've got to offer, I'm not interested anymore." I tried "going solo" for a couple years, but I'm too spiritual to not have something. Even as a christian, I'd been interested in the Jewish roots of christianity, so conversion to Judaism seemed like the next logical step on my spiritual path. I joined a liberal synagogue, where all are welcome. Part of me loves the beauty of the tradition and liturgy, where things are done in a certain order that provide a sense of continuity with the past. However, the "free spirit" part of me doesn't like routine, and my spiritual search continued because I wanted to know what else is out there. After looking into several different spiritualities, I finally found my spiritual home in what's commonly referred to as shamanism (although I still think of myself as Jewish and attend synagogue when I can).

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prib23

I go to the United Methodist Church. They are very welcoming to all people. I don't go as often as I used to because I work some Sundays. At any rate I don't beat people over the head or bully witness to others of no or other faiths. It's a personal choice, one's religious beliefs.

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funfetti
On 11/26/2016 at 5:15 PM, Calix Stay said:

I'm an Episcopalian, and also a postulant Franciscan friar in the Order of St. Francis.  I'm heavy-duty churchy, and I feel confident in saying that the Episcopal church works very hard to live up to it's motto of "all are welcome", and many of them either have active ministries to the LGBTQA communities, or at th' very least are wholly open with welcoming you both to church and to Christ's table.  We openly welcome lots of people from across ALL th' various human spectrums, including sexual and neurological / physical ones.  You may wish to go and visit!

Oh, and I can also chime in with what DaveB said in th' post above:  Unitarian Universalists are generally very welcoming to "divergent" populations as well, and most that I've visited or heard about are very active and open. 

I am Catholic, and go to Catholic church, but I also go to the Episcopalian church. My family has a huge cultural connection to Catholicism, so I don't think I can fully convert to the Episcopalian church but maybe one day ;) I find the Episcopalian church in the US to be amazingly supportive. Fun fact: my two gay, atheist friends got married under the Episcopalian church. Side note: my mom is a third order Franciscan. I used to hang out in their farms as a kid. I loved them. They were so liberal :)

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prib23

I'm not Catholic but there are many things I admire about the Catholic church. No problems getting along with Catholics. On the liberal versus conservative paradigm. I am neither and both. Very progressive on some issues and very traditional on others. That's just me. But I don't de-friend people based on religious or political views. 

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spacefae

I would recommend the Unitarian Universalist church. See if you have one in your area. They are VERY LGBT friendly. Anyone is welcome and you don't have to be a christian. You can be of any faith and be a Unitarian Universalist. It's hard to describe Unitarian Universalism. You kind of have to just go and get to know people and get a feel for what it's about. My church is very important to me.

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Sister Nightfall

I usually go to a church preaching Lutheranism. I'm not very religious; I was raised with atheism and wasn't about to lie in church during the traditional confirmation, so I don't even follow the traditional rites, which all the other atheists participates in due to tradition.

I like the rituals in church during Sunday sermon though. I like the psalms (when everybody sings, no matter their ability), the priest talking about life lessons. It is pretty easy for me to choose a church since most are sponsored by the state, and thus aren't allowed to be misogynistic, racist, or homophobic.

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AspieAngel

I go to whatever church I feel like going to that particular day. :) I was raised by Atheists but my Grandma was Christian. I became what I refer to as theologically curious. After I turned 18 and married a Catholic. That was my first real introduction to church. I quickly decided that was definitely not for me (bites tongue). Then I just started exploring. Apostolic, Presbyterian, Baptist, Southern Baptist ( yes, there is a difference in presentation ), Eckankar, Scientology, Methodist, Mormon, Quaker, Jehovah Witness, Judaism, Native American, and 7th Day Adventist. There were probably a few others that I am currently too high to think of right now. I have found the journey very enlightening. 

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JackieSays

I don't go to church. I'm a Pagan.

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SilverFlower
On November 28, 2016 at 2:53 AM, sparklingstars said:

I go to a Unitarian-Universalist church, and I would definitely recommend them.  They are very accepting of everyone, regardless of sexual orientation (or race, or anything else that others might discriminate against) and they tend to be very kind people in general.  And they will welcome you no matter what your religious beliefs are.

I'm also an atheist.  When i do (infrequently) go to a church it is the UU one and I agree with sparklingstars assessment here.  They are kind, open minded, and very welcoming people.

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cijay

I'm not Christian but I grew up in the United Church of Canada. (I don't know where you live). It has a 'small town church' feel with the potlucks and rummage sales, teas, fund raising chicken dinners etc. and they're pretty progressive and affirming. But their music is still old-school, sleep inducing shit that laypeople can't sing to. When I lived in Turkey I found this little church that had great music, pop music and lively with a young pastor. When I came back to Edmonton, I worked Sundays so I started going to Saturday night services at one of the Alliance churches. (Happy clappy church kind of things). As it turned out, when I moved to my new place, it's right across the street from the church so I still go there. The minister isn't overbearing, looks like Les Nessman, actually. Just gets up there in his jeans and his lessons are very much about the times we're living in. Not like "everything would be okay if everyone just loved Jesus" though. I don't know where they stand with the LGBTQA community but they've get to crusade or oppose it. I walk with the United Church entry at the Pride Parade and go to service at the Alliance that night still in my Pride garb and they haven't kicked me out LOL. The thing I found though is that, like ashpenaz says, it's very centered around family. Even the social groups are geared towards parents, kids, seniors...the only women's group is a bible study.

 

So I miss the socialness of the United Church but I like the music and energy of the Alliance. If they were to get shouty or spouting hate then I wouldn't go there either.

 

My time with God is unique, exclusive and intimate so it really doesn't matter what building I sit in. The things I say to God and the plans God has for me have nothing to do with anyone else there anyway. For me it's about the music and not being shouted at.

 

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daisylove

I don't think not going to church (or being a 'freelance Christian' as you say) is a cop-out. I've been an unchurched Christian for almost a decade, but will likely be converting to Catholic and also becoming a secular Franciscan.

 

In all honesty I think these days it might be better to not be a part of a church and simply worship and follow Christ according to the New Testament. You Tube has tons of bible study videos, and I would recommend Francis Chan in particular. He seems to have a more well-reasoned response to the typical church structure that we see today with evangelicals/Protestants.  

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Starbrite

I am a student of A Course In Miracles and Yoga and many more  philosophies but I occasionally go to my local evangelical church to see friends there. I forgive them for the hell fire and damnation unless you accept Jesus died for you speeches :P 

 

 its perfectly acceptable to worship in whatever way you wish wether that is looking at a pretty sunset or mediating  or reading books etc after all its where your heart is that matters

The holy spirit is inside you heart and mind and you can meet Him there anytime you choose 

 

The Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

John 14:17

 

Of course you could seek out  more progressive church  I am not from the states but what about unity churches?,

http://www.unity.org/

http://www.unity.org/resources/lgbt

http://www.unity.org/sites/unity.org/files/files/UnityLGBTViews.pdf

 

 

Maybe other Avenites attend more progressive churches

than my local evangelical  and can recommend some?  

good luck 

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