The Christmas Podcast Where We’re Not Spiritually Homeless anymore

by | Dec 22, 2022 | Podcasts | 15 comments

Spiritually Homeless No More Podcast
Merchandise is Here!

For the last two Decembers I’ve had podcasts where I talk about how I felt homeless about church.

Obviously part of that was due to COVID, but even before COVID we were trying to figure out a different place to go. We had been really heavily involved in two different churches over the last three decades, but we had to leave them when we just couldn’t handle the treatment of women.

We had been going to a church that we enjoyed, but it was 40 minutes away, and we were driving just to hear a sermon and music. I can hear a sermon and music online. I needed something more.

Rebecca and Connor left a really healthy church in Ottawa, and didn’t know where to land when they ended up back in our hometown.

And so for the last few years we’ve been trying to find a Christian community, and we often found ourselves feeling rather lonely.

Last December, I shared with you how difficult 2021 had been for my faith, because those that I had considered friends, that I thought truly loved Jesus, became upset when I started talking about the harm that was being done to women in evangelical spaces. 

That realization that the people that I thought most loved God truly didn’t care–that was hard. Really hard.

But 2022 has been different. We really did turn a corner. 

And so, in this last podcast of the year, we just wanted to get personal and share with you where we’ve all landed–and Joanna (our co-author for The Great Sex Rescue and our upcoming book She Deserves Better) joined us too!

Listen in!

 

There’s no transcript or timeline or YouTube video today! It’s just a personal update that I hope you really enjoy, but we didn’t have time to pull out the bells and whistles on this one!

So we’ve landed in two types of churches

Joanna and I are both at Anglican churches, and Rebecca has joined a community based church where the focus is on doing life together, and the Sunday service isn’t the main thing. It’s more anabaptist, and is filled with people who were wounded at evangelical churches in some of the same ways we were.

Now, again, Rebecca was at a healthy evangelical church in Ottawa; we enjoyed the one that was 45 minutes away. But we’re happy to find something super close to home that lets me feel like I’m worshipping again.

Joanna and I talked about how surprising the Anglican service has been to us. We love all the Scripture being read over us every week. We love standing for the gospel, to signify that Jesus’ words carry extra weight. We love that the service is not about getting you in an emotional state, but rather about speaking truth over us, no matter what the emotional state. And we love that the focus is on communion.

It isn’t for everyone, and it wouldn’t have been right for me at other stages of my life, I don’t think. But right now it feels very peaceful and steeped in Scripture, and I need that.

Rebecca heard about her church from some of our podcast listeners from our hometown who kept sending Instagram and Twitter DMs. We finally got enough that Rebecca thought she should try it, and she feels so connected and at home.

SDB Coming Soon
SDB Coming Soon Desktop

We wanted to give you that update, because honestly we’re so much happier this December than in previous ones.

We know how hard it can be to feel spiritually homeless. We’ve all walked that. So we hope that this podcast can be an encouragement to those of you who also feel spiritually homeless.

The one big piece of advice I’d give is to think outside the box.

When we left our first big evangelical church because of its treatment of women, we ended up going to another big evangelical church that was almost the same, but not as bad. There were many, many good things about that church, but the same things kept coming up.

If you have to leave a church because of toxicity, just don’t go to the same type of church again, because you’ll likely replicate the problems.

I don’t have advice other than that, but I hope in listening to our stories it can help you! And I hope wherever you are, in a healthy big church or in a new church plant or in a community based church or in a liturgical church–that this year you experience Jesus anew at Christmas.

Merry Christmas, everyone! And I’ll be back after the New Year.

Things Mentioned in the Podcast

Not Spiritually Homeless Anymore

Have you ever felt spiritually homeless? Or do you feel that now? Or have you landed in a good place? Let’s talk in the comments!

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Author at Bare Marriage

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

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15 Comments

  1. Lizzie C

    How exciting for you three! I’m so glad that you’ve found spiritual homes!

    It’s actually kind of funny that you’re in an Anglican setting now, because I’ve started looking into the Anglican church more as well! I’m currently watching services from Canterbury Cathedral, and trying to read the daily scriptures from the lectionary. It’s been absolutely wonderful! I find the rhythm of the services, the music, and just the overall nature to be very soothing. It’s so easy to feel at peace, and get into the right mindset for true worship. Obviously it’s not for everyone, but wow, it’s a good fit for me. (And my 3 year old daughter loves the organ music!)

    I wish you all a wonderful Christmas season!!

    Reply
  2. Phil

    Really great and glad for you Sheila, Becca and Joanna.

    Joanna – I told this story around here years ago but back in the day my sons scouting organization was looking for a new charter. There was this church down the street from my house that had a sign outside saying WE WANT NEW COMMUNITY GROUPS. It gave examples like 12 step groups etc on the sign. I thought PERFECT! They had the facility we needed and we had the group (140ish) people total scouts and parents) they wanted. So we met with the board and it seemed like a slam dunk. Then I got a letter from the pastor and church board. They used this direct language. This is not an exact quote but it said within the letter. We do not feel that we would be able to deliver the word of Christ to your group thank you very much goodbye. WHAT? SERIOUSLY? So while I get that our group would be meeting on Tuesdays and they wouldn’t be attending their services but like holy crap did you miss your own message? I could still go on ranting about it! Look in the mirror people! All I have to say is God took care of that for you…awesome story Joanna. 😊

    Sheila and Becca,

    As for the anabaptist concept of reading scripture through the eyes of Jesus? Didn’t know it was called that. Through my own investigative process through the years that is the conclusion I have arrived at. Its plain and simple. God has been telling us about HIS son since creation. Its all over Genesis. I couldn’t imagine reading the bible in any other method. I used to skip over all the genealogy stuff in the bible because quite frankly I cant pronounce the names. And while genealogy is important for many reasons within those scriptures lays clues to the coming of Jesus. Its EVERYWHERE you look in the bible!

    Merry Christmas to you Sheila, Becca and Joanna and the Bare Marriage team. Also to the readers of this blog and those who I have been blessed to interact with here.

    I too am very blessed this year. I have been waiting and holding on to hope and faith. Prayer is being answered for me right now. It is good.

    Peace!

    Have fun!

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Merry Christmas, Phil! So glad this year has been a fruitful one for you too. Have a wonderful holiday with your family and give our love to Grace!

      Reply
      • Phil

        You’re so in on it Sheila lol. I certainly will.

        See you next year!

        Reply
  3. Joy

    I was raised evangelical free and also tend to go to Baptist churches, but we ended up going to an Anglican church for awhile when we lived near one, and it was really good. I would 100% join one if we could find one in the area. I’m glad to hear about your journey and to hear where you have landed!

    Reply
  4. Jo R

    38:28: Why, in the name of the gospel, have we created some people who can’t be touched?

    Exactly.

    Reply
    • Phil

      Jo – so you know what my Pastor would say to that? Who moved? I have waited 43 years for what is happening right now for me Jo. I hear what your saying but if I can hold out hope so can you. Find a path and I promise you God will answer your prayer(s). Sometimes we have to wait. I am first in line to say that sucks but I am also here to tell you that we need to be ready. The discussion with regard to different church types? My opinion is we find what we are ready to hear. I wish you the best Jo. Praying you find peace and joy during this Christmas season

      Peace

      Reply
  5. Katie

    I am so unbelievably excited about your new book (I’m a mom of 4 girls 8 and younger)!!! Is there any way to preorder it not on Amazon? I don’t have an Amazon account 😬.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      You can pre-order it now, yes! I don’t think you need an Amazon account. It won’t be shipped until April, but when you pre-order you drive the price lower for everyone and you help get more people to see it! It’s right here.

      Reply
  6. Jan

    I must admit, I was really impressed by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s sermon at the Queen’s funeral. It surely must have had the biggest audience for any sermon ever!

    Reply
  7. Chris

    I haven’t listened to the podcast yet but I promise I will soon. Sheila, I’ve always believed that you are a Catholic. You just don’t know it. Anglican is basically Catholic Lite. So you’re getting there. Slowly but surely. 🤣. Merry Christmas to the Bare Marriage team!

    Reply
    • Phil

      Chris – I have tried to correct you on this before but it seems you just dont get it. I believe you are a Jehovahs witness but you just dont know it. Nobody’s home Chris. There is a reason many religions look like Catholicism. Catholicism is the root of many religions because people found fault in their teachings. I guess you really aren’t listening to the message around here. I would say your joke isnt funny anymore and quite frankly its rude at this point. STOP IT.

      Reply
  8. Laura

    What a wonderful uplifting podcast! Since COVID, I have felt spiritually homeless because I was not attending church, but I listened to it online. What I realized was that I was kind of feeling disenchanted with my church before COVID hit. I had been attending an Assemblies of God church for several years and mainly went to it because that’s where Celebrate Recovery was and my fiance (at that time) was attending church there. I have never really stuck with one church for more than 5 years and often wondered what was wrong with me when many people attended the same church for most of their lives. Things happen and I get bored with the same old sermons or something else with the church’s doctrine or treatment of others. I don’t exactly consider my last church toxic and I think my pastor is kind, but his sermons were starting to sound like reruns and he would ramble on before reading from the Bible. I guess I just wanted more than those same old sermons and what I really enjoy is listening to podcasts where people talk about the Bible and engage in discussions. Just having to play church for most of my Christian life was becoming redundant to me. There’s also the pressure to get involved in church activities like Bible studies, ministries, volunteer opportunities, etc and during this season of my life as a graduate school student, I just do not have the time. Being involved in church activities was something I had done over the years, but I had more time and it was my social life.

    This fall, I decided to try a different church: a liberal Lutheran Church where there are women pastors and the main pastor (he’s also the pastor of another church in a different town) delves more into Scripture. He also talks about social justice issues and believes in being an inclusive church where everyone is welcome. While this church may be a very small congregation with mostly senior citizens, I don’t mind that because I am not looking to socialize or care about the modern worship songs. So far, I enjoy the liturgy of the service where it’s more orderly. The pastor does not ramble on and Scripture is always read throughout the service. A church service is not the only place to get spiritually fed. I am thankful for podcasts and Youtube videos.

    Now, I have not committed myself fully to one church because in Heaven, all of us Christians will be the Church regardless of what earthly churches we attended. Happy holidays everyone and I’m looking forward to 2023!

    Reply
  9. Shoshana

    Still looking for a spiritual home. I was unchurched at an early age, and didn’t really attend much anyway. As an adult, I tried different churches, religious views, etc., but was turned off my complementarians rhetoric. I still am not sure where to go. But will have to keep looking.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I understand. It can be hard.

      Reply

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