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Attention all Reluctant Worshippers, over here....

(65 Posts)
justabouthadcurry Fri 19-Sep-08 18:35:40

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revjustabout Fri 19-Sep-08 18:36:58

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MaryBS Fri 19-Sep-08 22:12:48

My son is nearly 7 and its difficult getting him to church sometimes, but particularly family services. I take him with me most weeks, and he is happy to go, and goes off to Sunday school quite happily. This week was a family service, and there I was, carrying him into church, with him screaming at the top of his voice "NO I HATE FAMILY SERVICES". I used to say he was "house of God trained", but now I'm not so sure. At least he's never dropped his trousers and poo-ed in public!

Actually, when you think about it, confessing sins is a lot like pooing. It gets rid of the nasty waste stuff that festers inside us, we feel a sense of relief after we've "been". And we would all much rather do it in private than in front of everyone.

I wish you luck going to confession, rev, because after that image I've just conjured up, ain't no way you're going to keep a straight face next time you go!

revjustabout Sat 20-Sep-08 07:07:41

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ChurchIsntForMe Sat 20-Sep-08 07:27:13

<shuffles in quietly at the back>

I do believe in God. I'm just not sure about the whole church thing. The mass saying of prayers reminds of either sheep or nazis (can't believe I'm actually posting that!) a sort of mass subconcious and to be honest it puts me off. I occasionally have a one to one chat with God and I think all the time about my actions and their implications, about doing the right thing and being a 'good' person.

WOW, I am going to have to change my name before I post this lol! At least one person in RL knows my mumsnet name.

Also, while I'm happy for my children (who go to our local church school) to receive a Christian education, I LOATHE taking them to church which invariably turns to humiliation as I have to leave half way through with one of them bawling. Going to church with children shouldn't be about 'how can i keep them quiet and occupied for 40 mins' our local church (although the vicar is lovely) is old school and the services are just not interesting for children.

In fact, now I think about it, I really don't like going to church either (having had to go every sunday until aged 17yrs) I've had enough. I worry that God won't like that but not sure how to resolve it. Maybe I just haven't found the right church.

THat's enough inner rambling. If I ever heard a sermon like revjustabout's postI'd be there every sunday!

revjustabout Sat 20-Sep-08 07:35:15

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ChurchIsntForMe Sat 20-Sep-08 07:46:16

HA! You sound so similar to me in the way you think, your pooing on the drive post really hit home (all the stuff about your soul being blackened...nothing like a good bit of guilt or inner self critic being let loose) but then you're becoming an anglican minister and I couldn't do that EVER although I do thank God that people like you are going into the church, gives me hope!
I think the other place I find my faith wavering is when appalling things happen to good people. Two close family members have had babies die. A mother of a child I taught (lovely lady) died of cancer a while ago...I could easily name a dozen other things like that. Why would a good and loving God let those things happen?

revjustabout Sat 20-Sep-08 08:08:13

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Clockface Sat 20-Sep-08 08:56:10

Rev, just wanted to say I have read and am pondering! Really lovely piece (if "lovely" is the word for a piece all about sin and poo) hmm

Confession is very healing, eh? However you do it.

revjustabout Sat 20-Sep-08 09:08:11

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rivenmetimbers Sat 20-Sep-08 09:24:04

can us muslim types join in too? Cps sometimes going for friday prayers is too much with a 4 yo and to be frank, sometimes the sermon makes me keel over with boredom.
I wouldn't be able to take dd anyhow as she does siren impressions (disabled and cant talk) and once you're in the sisters area you can't get out without having to shuffle past 300 brothers.

suzywong Sat 20-Sep-08 09:28:48

" If we don't get any interest we will stop, probably much to the relief of the Mumsnet atheists!"

why set up polarity in this way?

Has there ever been any evidence in the history of MN that the MN atheists are antagonistic or detremental towards you?

I'm genuinely interested.

revjustabout Sat 20-Sep-08 09:36:26

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suzywong Sat 20-Sep-08 09:38:47

well I 'm a MN atheist and it's never bothered me
free speech and the right to it is a basic principle of rational though, IMO.

Why not put out a more welcoming message to the MN atheists and see what you get? Surely no need to begin such a positive thread with a divisive comment.

LoveMyGirls Sat 20-Sep-08 09:45:42

I used to go to church I was brought up to believe in god and if I'm feeling low or times are hard or I especially want something to work out I pray and I don't really know if its positive thinking (because I do sort of eblieve in the power of positive thinking) or the feeling I've been heard or if in fact god does actually exsist.

I don't go to church and I doubt I'll ever go again tbh. I don't feel guilty about from the usual parent guilty feelings iyswim.

I did listen to this the other day, bear with it, it's quite good and makes you think.
letter from god

revjustabout Sat 20-Sep-08 09:49:19

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morningpaper Sat 20-Sep-08 15:51:26

Ah yes I remember the pooing on driveway. I've not heard any recent meditations on the parallels between confession and having a good bowel movement, but I'll add it to my mental notes.

Lol @ sheep or nazis; maybe the Ood would be more appropropriate?? <geek>

I find taking children to church really hard sometimes, because whereas before children I would spend maybe 60 minutes in church: 20 minutes thinking about shagging DP when I got home, 20 minutes thinking about shopping later on, and maybe 20 minutes thinking about God, now I reckon it is 59 minutes trying to shut the children up and 1 minute thinking "OMG must think something vaguely spiritual before we go back home."

<wonders how bad that makes me look>

I remember reading this great article in U.S. Catholic magazine, describing the hell of getting children ready for church, getting them to church, creeping (late) into the front pew, and the priest turning, smiling at the family and saying "I bet you are all wondering why I am wearing a green vestment today?"

Which shows just how LITTLE the church/some priests really understand the first thing about family. I have made lots of requests to my church about making it more family-friendly, specifically having somewhere like a mat for the children to sit. Five years I have been banging on about it, and we have NOTHING. I think that the higher end of the Anglican liturgy sort of feels that pandering to children is too close to turning-into-a-Baptist Church so they rise above such suggestions. Although the Baptist church IS the only denomination which is increasing it's young family base... but still.

ERMMm so my liturigical heritage (I know I should say 'faith') is really hugely important to me and I want to pass it on to the kids. I don't mind if they grow up into Richard Dawkins (well, I would like their philosophical skills to be a little more subtle) but I want to give them the gift of being brought up in this culture and with this knowledge of ritual and meaning and spiritual access.

Having said that, if they mention Jesus or God in a public place I cringe inwardly and change the subject. Frankly I would probably find a public poo less embarassing. I'm not sure what that says about me, but I'm sure it's something TERRIBLE.

notsofarnow Sat 20-Sep-08 17:15:10

To be able to turn a comment about pooing on a drive into a spiritual thought is truely gifted.

I drag ummm take my children to church every Sunday and most weeks it makes me feel like a bad parent. Not that they make me feel like that but I do because I beat myself up telling myself they should be quiet - we incidentally have a table with a boxfull of books colouring but its only my children that use it any other children sit by thier mums, dads, grandparents like good children.

Going to church sometimes makes me feel exhausted and sometimes would be easier to stay at home but I don't, why do I put myself through it every week? Because I need to have a good poo metaphorically speaking to set myself up for the rest of the week.

revjustabout Sat 20-Sep-08 19:13:57

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notsofarnow Sat 20-Sep-08 21:03:30

I so know that feeling rev as I too used to be a minister and at that time mine were the only children in the services, so whatever they did was even more noticable.

As for the suffering thing I always look at it as everyone suffers but the differnce with a Christian is that we believe that we have God to help us through whatever life throws at us. smile

Ellbell Sat 20-Sep-08 22:43:10

I'm interested in morningpaper's post. If I were to go to church, I'd want a church that was really traditional, with 'proper' hymns and the 'proper' (unmodernized) Lord's Prayer... I even have a sneaking nostalgia for the 'old' Book of Common Prayer. But on the whole and IM(limited)E the kinds of churches that have services I feel comforted with a visited by three old biddies and an organist who failed Grade 3 piano. Whereas our local church is really buzzing - very active, always full. But I really really can't do it. The inspirational songs on the powerpoint, the people with their arms in the air, the 'rock' band at the front... it all sends me cringing under my pew. I know my children would probably find this style of worship more congenial. But it is just not me. So I don't go. And not going also avoids arguments at home with vehemently atheist dh. But I try to listen to the daily service on R4 in the car at least a couple of times a week, and now I have 'come out' on MN as a closet Christian.

I've never 'done' confession, but in my line of work I look at religious ideas quite a lot and I find the idea very appealing. I like the poo analogy a lot... though, come to think of it, I am seriously spiritually constipated!

Oh, and very unspiritual, but I did ROFL at 'I want to play with my penis'. grin

Ellbell Sat 20-Sep-08 22:46:53

Re. bad things happening to good people... Something really awful happened last year to someone I had contact with through work (bit vague, I know, but don't want to be too specific) and one of the most helpful messages that was passed on to me was that Boethius (but I haven't found a reference for it yet - need to look more seriously) said that when we ask why bad things happen we should not forget also to ask why good things happen. I really liked that.

FossilSister Sat 20-Sep-08 22:55:32

I would describe myself as religious, and also spiritual. I only find it embarassing because when you talk about it, people seem to assume that you hold a range of opinions, for example about abortion or homosexuality, that I don't share. That may just be my impression, but I have heard so many times friends say "Oh she's a God botherer" etc in that dismissive way so every opinion you hold is now cast in that light.

There's also a certain amount of intellectual weakness around, which I hate to be identified with. Sorry, that's horribly judgey!

Returning to the church after many years, I've found it has moved on (of course, but it was a surprise to me.)

cmotdibbler Sat 20-Sep-08 23:09:36

So, heres my declaration - I'm an atheist. Sort of. My closest 'description' is to be a humanist, but I'm not entirely sure I want to be one of them either.

Anyway - fab reflection Revjustabout. I will put you on my list of ministers inhabiting the real world.

On the subject of children in church - I do take my toddler to church sometimes when we have friends visiting who like to go to a service in our very lovely abbey, and to the crib service as if we are going to 'do' christmas, I feel the need for the occasion to be properly marked. At the crib service - announcement made that all the doors are manned, so children can wander as they need to, don't worry about noise, lots of involvement, lots of hymns etc. Service - children expected to go to junior church, loooong sermon, very formal(although small band of mothers doing a mobile kind of service at the back as their toddlers mill around). There was a piece in the abbey news a few months ago saying how lovely it was to have a church full of children at the crib service, and why weren't they there every week ? Not hard to work out - and they don't do any kind of family service either, its the full monty or nothing.

MaryBS Sun 21-Sep-08 08:15:36

morningpaper, your comment about cringing when the children mention Jesus in public. My DH cringed when we went to catch a train and our two march down the platform, singing at the top of their voice the Jesus train song! (get on board, the kingdom train is coming, get on board hear the whistle blow, get on board with the power of the spirit shh shh woo woo its time to go)

cmotdibbler, there ARE some ministers in the real world, in fact it seems that more and more selectors are looking for "real life" experience, and have been known to tell people to go see a bit of life first! After all, Jesus didn't start his ministry until he was 30!

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