Have you switched horses?

vMid-stream or otherwise?

Utne Reader is running a poll (you’ll have to scroll down a bit to “Cast Your Vote”):

At least half of American adults have changed religious affiliation. Have you? Why?

Reasons for switching include “ drifted away,” “stopped believing,” “teachings on abortion,” “teachings on homosexuality,” “treatment of women,” and others.

If you find yourself in a new pew — or no pew — go vote!

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14 responses to “Have you switched horses?

  1. Teenage years at First Congregational Church in Bloomfield. Went to a Methodist college but attended a Presbyterian church. Went to Union Theological Seminary in NYC (intedenominational), married a Quaker girl and ended up an Episcopal priest.

    The most bizarre thing about all this was perhaps the Quakers actually trying to convert me.

  2. Quakers trying to convert me? And I was in the ordination process in the Episcopal Church!

    They gave me a pile of books to read. Took them, skimmed through them and discarded them. What you see is what you get.

    • Oh man, I love Quaker booklets. I read them and I’m like YES! EXACTLY!

    • Hey Jay, how do Congregational and Episcopal churches differ? They seem to be on the same side of most social justice issues. I’m not as clear on their differences.

      I started out Methodist and was baptized by my Scottish Great-Grandfather. Everyone, including his kids, called him “The Reverend”. I don’t really remember him, but I heard things were usually quite serious with regard to religion and him. So much so, that the next few generations were turned off by religion. Besides, God left our family high and dry when several tragedies hit. I think I’m the only one along that blood-line that came back to it – just in a different form. I’m a Congregationalist.

    • I’ve read “Faith and Practice,” but no one gave it to me. One of my dearest friends is Quaker and she’d cut off her arm before she’s knock on my door to try to convince me to become one. But she sets such a sterling example of compassion and peace I am, in the words of our old hymn, “Almost Persuaded.”

      • Does the label really matter? Would your friend be any different if she changed what she called herself?

        • I’m not sure she’d change, either labels or anything else, but no, she’d still be compassionate and peace-minded, I think.

  3. Jac, your Scottish grandfather probably was a Presbyterian. As in “dour.”

    In the 1960s the Congregational Christian churches and the Evangelical and Reformed Church merged to become the United Church of Christ (UCC). Rather an odd couple, as they had quite differering worship traditions. Nevertheless, they’ve been “married” about as long as I have been.

    The social perspectives are similar, in the Episcopal Church and UCC. What’s different is the liturgical traditions.

    The Episcopal church is liturgical, descended from the Roman mass. The service is basically the same every Sunday and is conducted with various degrees of formality. The Book of Common Prayer is used. Clergy are bishops, priests or deacons.

    The UCC’s heritage is from the Puritans and Pilgrims, who in England resisted the coldness and formality of the Church of England. Their tradition is non-liturgical, although of course they tend to follow the same order of their own service each Sunday, too.

    • You’re probably right. At least he probably had Presbyterian roots. In the U.S., he was a Methodist minister, otherwise known as The Reverend.

      Interesting that this, “The UCC’s heritage is from the Puritans and Pilgrims, who in England resisted the coldness and formality of the Church of England”, is somewhat parallel to my personal journey to the UCC from the coldness and formality of my Great-Grandfather’s religion.

      I had a few short years in my childhood where I dragged my family to a Methodist church (because that was what I thought I was) and I loved it over those years.

    • Jay, how’d you get so smart, hmm?

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