Saturday, December 20, 2008

rural vs. sububan vs. urban church experiences-- in conservative vs. liberal denominations

This weekend, we were with seven other couples-- as part of a marriage retreat for the guys (and their spouses) on Kurt's Men's Ministry "core leadership team". We spent the weekend at Richwood Plantation in Milton, KY (across the river from Madison, IN)-- and had a lovely time, talking some shop but mostly hanging out, chatting, playing games, going into town, and so on!

On Sunday morning, six of the couples went to various churches in Madison. Tonia and I (along with another couple) chose a United Church of Christ. Two couples chose an Episcopalian church. One chose Baptist and the other chose something I can't remember.

To generalize, the UCC and the Episcopalians are two of the more "liberal" Christian denominations. But there are certainly some conservative parishes/members within each group. And I was figuring that small-town America might easily feature some of the more conservative elements. If so, I imagined that a conservative liberal church might be the best possible outcome-- at least compared to a conservative conservative church!

And I think that's the way it played out. Our friends had a solid experience at the Baptist church. But our friends had a very good worship service with the Episcopalians. And it sounds like we had the best: rough in terms of style, but Christ-centered, creedal, Scriptural, warm and friendly internally, with an emphasis on external service. It was a wonderful way to worship the Lord!

May God bless the work of rural and small-town churches.


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