BONUS: Go to a church service in a Christian denomination outside of your own tradition - Pathfinder

BONUS: Go to a church service in a Christian denomination outside of your own tradition

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    • #1429
      pathfinderlms
      Keymaster
      • Go to a church service in a Christian denomination outside of your own tradition (bonus points if it is a Near Eastern tradition!). Write a brief reflection on what you learned through this experience. Did it challenge any preconceived notions you may have had?
    • #2001
      Marina Ghaly
      Participant

      I recently attended mass at a Roman Catholic Church. I grew up in both a Protestant Church and an Orthodox Church, therefore, I found some similarities and familiarity between all three church traditions. With the Protestant Church, there was some familiarity with the order of worship. Both the Roman Catholic Church and Protestant Church have similar worship order with very familiar words. Obviously between the two the wording si different. For example, in the Catholic Church the priest says “The Lord be with you!” in which the congregation replies, “and with your spirit!” in the Presbyterian church, the congregation replies “and also with you!”
      The major differences between the Catholic and Orthodox church is the length. The Orthodox church is a lot longer than the Catholic Church and depending on the Orthodox Church, you may not hear a homily (sermon). The wording was also different. It shows regardless of what church you grew up in, the differences are very minor. Although the history of the Church is filled with division because of different theologies, at the end of the day, it’s the death and resurrection of Jesus that saves us and we are all one in Christ.

    • #2036
      Cara Brown
      Participant

      I am currently looking for a new church home, so I unintentionally did this around the same time I was taking this class! I had been curious about an Anglican church in my neighborhood (I have visited a different Anglican church before many years ago) and was curious to go to a service again. The timing felt like it was (but clearly wasn’t!) a coincidence as I had different traditions on the brain, so God was definitely at work! I am not used to liturgy where the congregation speaks after the minister all together, so, even though I was prepared, it is challenging for me at times. The structure is quite similar to the Catholic church, although obviously have important differences. We also read the Nicene Creed together which was particularly meaningful after studying its origins in more depth through this course. I paid more attention to what each word meant as we read them, especially differences we noted in this course, such as the Spirit “proceeding” from the Father and the Son or only the Father for the Orthodox church. I appreciate the diversity of worship experiencing other traditions can offer and how we can connect with God in purposefully unique ways.

      • #2844
        Hannah Straub
        Participant

        Love that you visited a church from a different tradition, Cara! It’s fascinating seeing the similarities and differences between them.

        I feel so grateful for all the rich history in the Christian church and the diversity of believers. I think we are better off for it!

        Thanks for your observations!

    • #2037
      Cara Brown
      Participant

      I am currently looking for a new church home, so I had already been planning to do this around the same time I was taking this class! I had been curious about an Anglican church in my neighborhood (I have visited a different Anglican church before many years ago) and was curious to go to a service again. The timing felt like it was (but clearly wasn’t!) a coincidence as I had different traditions on the brain, so God was definitely at work! I am not used to liturgy where the congregation speaks after the minister all together, so, even though I was prepared, it is challenging for me at times. The structure is quite similar to the Catholic church, although obviously have important differences. We also read the Nicene Creed together which was particularly meaningful after studying its origins in more depth through this course. I paid more attention to what each word meant as we read them, especially differences we noted in this course, such as the Spirit “proceeding” from the Father and the Son or only the Father for the Orthodox church. I appreciate the diversity of worship experiencing other traditions can offer and how we can connect with God in purposefully unique ways.

    • #2038
      Cara Brown
      Participant

      I am currently looking for a new church home, so I had already been planning to do this around the same time I was taking this class! I had been curious about an Anglican church in my neighborhood (I have visited a different Anglican church before many years ago) and was curious to go to a service again. The timing felt like it was (but clearly wasn’t!) a coincidence as I had different traditions on the brain, so God was definitely at work! I am not used to liturgy where the congregation speaks after the minister all together, so, even though I was prepared, it is challenging for me at times. The structure is quite similar to the Catholic church, although each tradition obviously has important differences. We also read the Nicene Creed together which was particularly meaningful after studying its origins in more depth through this course. I paid more attention to what each word meant as we read them, especially differences we noted in this course, such as the Spirit “proceeding” from the Father and the Son or only the Father for the Orthodox church. I appreciate the diversity of worship experiencing other traditions can offer and how we can connect with God in purposefully unique ways.

    • #2756
      Mitchell Schwab
      Participant

      Out of pure curiosity, I attended Catholic mass. The traditions are vastly different than my Christian upbringing. Initially I felt very uncomfortable because I was not expecting the church service to proceed as it did. Similarly, I attended a southern Baptist church service which was completely different than the Catholic church service and my own faith. I would love to attend a near Eastern church service to compare the traditions as well. I am starting to realize that much of what we do in our own churches is based off of tradition… Not doctrine. I have also started to ponder the effect many of the early creeds have on the modern Christian views of western culture. Though we claim the Bible to be the only source of the word of God, it seems we have begun to place much of our viewpoints of the gospel through the lens of those creeds, influencing our perspective of the Bible. How much of what we know and do today is because of the Creeds vs the Bible? Unfortunately, I feel the doctrines and viewpoints contained in the creeds are what divides western and eastern Christianity when we have absolute unity in the Bible and in Christ.

    • #2911
      Hunter Mixon
      Participant

      I have done this quite a few times actually. I find it very revealing about the religion and the history behind it. There are clearly difference but there are also similarities that I appreciate as well. The biggest similarity that captures my thoughts each time I have done this is the denominations strong belief in their religion. I think that we can all appreciate deep devotion and the want to grow deeper within our religion. A long time ago I attended a Greek Orthodox Church, while I do not remember the sermon, the overall message of the night was do good to others. While their history might be different than Christianity the messages they are trying to give to their flocks are similar to our own messages we receive on Sundays.

    • #2965
      Austin Pellizzer
      Participant

      Recently, for the Fest of the Cross, I was fortunate to attend a Greek Melkite Catholic Church. It was a profound and exciting experience demonstrating how diverse and beautiful the Catholic faith is. Seeing how people pray, communicate, and run their services has made me more understanding and accepting of not just the Eastern Catholic faiths but also how great the Catholic faith is regarding language, traditions and cultures worldwide.

    • #2002
      Marina Ghaly
      Participant

      I also love the devotion and dedication the Catholic church has for the Eucharist. I wish the Protestant churches took more time to prepare the hearts of the congregation for partaking in the Eucharist. Paul wrote if one takes the Eucharist in an unworthy manner then the individual is sinning against the Eucharist. When I first read that verse, I began to take the Eucharist a lot more seriously. I also love incense, once understanding the use of incense in the church, it helped me to remember how God truly does hear all of our prayers.
      Thank you for sharing!

    • #2322
      Joseph Danaher
      Participant

      That’s beautiful to hear, Felipe. I too used to be Protestant. I had gone to mass though as a child with my grandma, but as a kid I was very bored, since at my Church we had kid’s church outside the sanctuary. But going back as an adult, I too felt many of the things you felt. The substance of it was a big part of what convinced me to go to RCIA and be confirmed. But even as just an experience without converting, it’s simply a great thing to get to see how others worship for oneself. I’ve even been to a Mormon service once despite having no intention of becoming Mormon, but because friends invited me. And it was quite interesting to see it for myself rather than secondhand.

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