Interested in Anglicanism

Discussion in 'New Members' started by Bernie, Aug 6, 2017.

  1. Bernie

    Bernie New Member

    Posts:
    2
    Likes Received:
    3
    Hello

    I hope you don't mind me posting here with some very basic questions. I've been an atheist all my life but have recently been thinking about religion and faith.

    I'd like to go to church but am not sure whether I'd be welcome, as I'm still not sure what I believe. Is it ok to attend church on this basis? I'm also not sure what about taking Communion- is it ok not to do so at a Eucharist service, and just sit and watch instead? (It's not something I would be comfortable with until I'm more sure in my belief.) In any event, can I take Communion without being baptised and confirmed?

    Thank you for any thoughts.
     
    Anne and anglican74 like this.
  2. Thinkingaloud

    Thinkingaloud New Member

    Posts:
    14
    Likes Received:
    5
    Country:
    Scotland
    Religion:
    Christian
    Hi Bernie,

    Absolutely! Everyone is welcome to attend church. And it's fine to not take Communion and instead watch or reflect.

    It might be worthwhile contacting the church before, they can maybe help answer any questions. Also many run discussion groups for people who are interested in Christianity but not yet sure such as the Alpha course or Christianity Explored,
    so you could also ask about that.
     
  3. PotterMcKinney

    PotterMcKinney Active Member Anglican

    Posts:
    145
    Likes Received:
    79
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    PECUSA
    Many churches will allow you to come up with folded arms and receive a blessing instead of communion.
     
  4. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    551
    Likes Received:
    454
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    see username :)
    Welcome! Attending and observing is most certainly okay. You can even sit in the back pew and sneak out since it's whatever you need to be in a comfortable place mentally and spiritually. Also yes don't take Communion as it would be bad for you spiritually before you became baptized and confirmed...
    Blessings and we hope to help you with anything!
     
  5. Bernie

    Bernie New Member

    Posts:
    2
    Likes Received:
    3
    Thank you so much for these welcoming and encouraging replies.
     
    anglican74 likes this.
  6. billn59

    billn59 New Member

    Posts:
    5
    Likes Received:
    7
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Anglican
    Bernie,
    I was in the same boat. Although I considered myself agnostic not atheist. I started going to church 2 years ago after I moved to Texas. My in-laws were going and encouraged me to go. I decided to give it a try. I was welcomed with open arms even though I couldn't take communion. 2 months later, I was baptized at the ripe old age of 56. Now I'm going 3 times a week. Sunday for bible study/Eucharist, Wednesdays for evening prayer/bible study, and Fridays for morning prayer. I'm also involved in lay reading once a month. It's really changed my whole outlook on life.

    Hope this helps. Best of luck in your journey with Christ.
     
    Shane R and anglican74 like this.
  7. Ide

    Ide Member

    Posts:
    76
    Likes Received:
    88
    Country:
    United States
    Religion:
    Christian
    I don't think anyone minds at all! How can you know unless you ask? :)

    As others have said, Communion is for those who have been baptized in the faith- at least in Anglican tradition. Other Christian groups have different standards- some more or less strict. You can always go up with your arms crossed over your chest and the priest will bless you.

    I was, and am, in a similar situation to you. I was not raised as a Christian and my family was essentially indifferent or even hostile to Christianity. I also did not have many good experiences with Christians (many terrible ones, in fact) which makes going to church and reading the Bible very painful to me. Many people who grow up going to church and believing in God often struggle to understand people like us for whom those experiences may seem unnatural or even frightening.

    Several years ago when I first began to explore Christianity, I would go to church and sit at the back of the pew closest to the door. I was so afraid of the people there that I left even before the service started. It took several tries to even sit through an entire service. Even then I would not go to coffee afterwards and just head straight for the door- I was terrified.

    But, just going to church without belief is ok. You can simply sit and observe and enjoy the music or the quite atmosphere. I take as opportunity to sit in a peaceful place and just be still when I am struggling with doubt or fear. I like the Orthodox idea that the church is a hospital and should be there to nourish us and give us respite- it's not a courtroom to cross examine us! That's how I feel when I go to church- just an opportunity to let go and seek the peace my heart craves.

    There are also many types of services. Some with music, some without- some that are very traditional and some that are more contemplative. I recommend finding a service which resonates with you which may help with feeling included.
     

Share This Page