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How to find a church

So a parishioner moved to a different city and wrote to ask me which of two Episcopal churches nearby I would recommend he attend. I thought my reply is general enough that it would help others, and since this is a pretty big question for those who are asking it, I thought I'd post my reply here.

Dear ____________,

It's hard to say – the only way to know for sure which one is right for you is to investigate.

First take a look at the websites (I included links to the church's websites here).

Browse around, read anything and everything, especially old newsletters and recent sermons. As you read, pay attention to your feelings: See if you are turned off, or attracted to, what you are reading, its tone and substance.

Then (assuming you are not turned off) go visit. Visit at least two times at different services on different Sundays.

Be open minded and give the church and people the benefit of the doubt, but trust your feelings/gut instincts/initial reactions.

Most importantly, keep all this in a conversation with God: “God, lead me where you want me. Show me where you think I would come to know you and serve you better.”

Give it time. Stick with it. Don’t limit yourself to these two Episcopal Churches or to Episcopal Churches in general – God might be inviting you to know and serve him better in a Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist, non denominational, etc., church…be open minded.

Pay special attention to “coincidental” conversations you have with people who happen to mention a church they go to and are excited about, and ask them about it.

Better yet, ask people you know and like – and who know and like you – if they go to church, and where, and try those churches!

Hope this helps.

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