Saturday, March 9, 2013

To be or not to be...that is the question!

And the answer? 

 Not to be!!

....Mennonite that is!

Many of you know I have been fellowshipping with the Mennonite church here in Deloraine since I moved here last July.  I have enjoyed my time with them and the opportunity to attend a conservative Mennonite church, but just after Christmas I was feeling the need to take a break and reassess which way I was headed. 

And after much prayer and deliberation I have come to the conclusion that the Mennonite way is not for me.  My biblical beliefs line up most with the Anabaptists, but I do have a problem with some of the Mennonite church rules (they call them guidelines, but they are rules nonetheless, regardless of what you want to call them), and they are expected to be abided by. 

So, although I will miss the dear friends I made there (although I think that as I did not choose their way they may no longer consider me a 'dear friend'), I will - and have told them so - continue to extend the hand of friendship to them.

So, once again, I am looking for a church to call home - I'm sure many of you can relate to that.

I have attended the Brethren church - and found it a bit too 'casual' for me (but then I guess after attending the conservative Mennonites, most churches would seem 'casual').

This morning (being Sunday) I attended the Baptist church.  I think I will give it a try for awhile and see what I think.

10 comments:

  1. Blessings!
    We miss our Mennonite fellowship back in Oregon so very much. Although we were a bit different than most, I think. Holdeman Mennonites :) We miss them all so much and sometimes are able to write to them now and again.

    We now attend a Baptist church in Wisconsin, where we moved to back 3 years ago. They are very understanding of our lifestyle and our modest ways and for that we are surely thankful. Living in a community of Amish, we are not always received well, but most folks are good and kind and we enjoy them.

    I pray that you will find the place the Lord wants you to be. He never closes a door that he opens a window :)

    God be with thee!
    Sister Lori

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    1. Hi Sister Lori - I'm very glad I had the opportunity to be a part of the group and although I am disappointed it didn't work out I must say I do feel relief that I have finally made a decision on the matter and am now looking forward to seeing what the Lord may have for me. xx

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  2. Are you disappointed? Are you sad? Or does it feel like a relief?
    I wonder, are there any Conservative Quakers near you? I love the Conservative Friends. They have a sober, authentic, living faith - but yet leavened with humour, and with breathing space for common sense and real life.
    Love to you my friend. May you find you community. xxx

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    1. Hi Ember - I am a bit disappointed, but mostly relieved I think, to have made the decision.

      It was interesting that the only other Australian couple (all the others being Canadian or American) had similar concerns to me and came to the same conclusion that I did (i.e. to leave the group) at almost the same time I did, even though we were unaware of, nor did we discuss with each other, our concerns.

      I hope all goes well with your Servants with Jesus group and it will be a place of peace and contentment for you. xx

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    2. Ember - Bean's comment below made me realise I hadn't answered your question about the Conservative Quakers. I do believe there are Quakers in Tasmania, but not nearby...and not conservative as far as I know, but it is perhaps something to look into. xx

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  3. I like Ember's questions to you. And, I agree with her comments regarding the Quakers.
    Last year I was looking into the Fraternity of Penitents, a Franciscan lay order, initially I was very interested and very excited to get started with formation etc. but suddenly I knew it wasn't for me, it wasn't any one thing, it simply felt that it fit me wrong. I liken it to wearing an ill-fitting piece of clothing, no matter how much you tell yourself it fits fine you know in your heart it does not. So as a rule of thumb when I find that I am repeatedly trying to convince myself that I like something, or that it feels right, I know that the ongoing self-convincing conversations are a pretty good sign that it is not the right thing for right now for me.

    I hope that helps.

    Bean

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    1. Same happened to me, Bean, with the Franciscan Third Order - and I did so want it to be right. For one reason or another it's taken me several years for things to shake down, in my church attendance; and it's such a relief to find a sense of belonging now developing. Apart from anything else, I think the more communities I tried, the harder it felt to settle down - it's the relationships and affections that develop over time that assist real rootedness.

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  4. Hi Bean - couldn't reply to your comment yesterday as my internet connection has a habit of dropping out quite often, so here I am back now and hope my reply will go through this time...I had typed it all and had it ready to go when I lost connection :o(

    I remember when you were excited about the Fraternity of Penitents...I'm sorry it didn't work out for you.

    I think I was in the same place your were in that I had been trying to convince myself that I could (and would...by hook or by crook!) fit in with the Mennonites, even though I knew (and was sad to think) that I could not be 'me' if I stayed with them.

    So I feel so much better that I can be 'me'...even if that 'me' isn't Mennonite.

    Thank you...your comments have been helpful :o) xx

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  5. Hi Lynda,

    I just saw your comment on my blog - thank you for visiting! You may have inspired me to update again after a bit of a hiatus! I was very interested by this post of yours in particular. If you're interested in gospel meetings which go by the description at this link (an invitation to my local meetings) https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/k85WkBkdIU8t5GWhgi2MpkDZxGPozCNbIDcXepMPFpk?feat=directlink - let me know and I may be able to track down some of the same near you. I know some gospel meetings are being held on the northwest coast of Tassie, and I could find out exactly where without much trouble.

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    1. Hi Rena - thank you for the link.

      Are the meetings affiliated with a particular church or denomination?

      Do they have online sermons you can listen to?

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