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!
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.
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
- Our Patreon! They’ve supported some amazing projects this year, and you can join us for as little as $5 a month!
- The original podcast on feeling spiritually homeless
- Last year’s update on feeling so disappointed by faith leaders (plus the podcast on how the authors we critiqued responded to The Great Sex Rescue)
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!