.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Finding Faith in Faith

This blog is dedicated to exploring the intersections of faith and politics, the intricacies of religious culture and the struggle to balance devotion to a higher being and to one’s culture.

Saturday, July 31, 2004

Where in the DFW is God?

As I make the transition to Dallas, I know that I am going to have a hard time settling on a faith culture to join. For the past 5 years, I have called University Avenue Church of Christ my home church.

The transition from Abilene to Austin in 1999 was a difficult one, but the one area that was simple was my choice of churches. I had attended UA as a child many times, for my grandfather had been an elder there, and many of my family’s relatives and friends who live in Austin attended there. It was a no-brainer.

I did struggle to adjust to the culture. UA is a very formal church, and one that likes to stand on ceremony for most rituals and practices. My arrival coincide with the arrival of Dean Smith, and I have often wondered if UA would not have driven me off the deep end were it not for his leadership and grace.

Dean brought a spirit of thoughtfulness and change to an environment that was rather resistant to even considering the changing needs of 21st Century Christians. His actions were not always successful, and I know that he has had many frustrations with the barriers the culture erects to inhibit certain types of cultural evolution, but I never doubted that Dean was driven by his pursuit of truth and social justice.

Of course, many others would come to make my stay in Austin very pleasant. Brad Griffin, the worship leader, has both an amazing talent and one of the truest hearts I have ever encountered. And his approach to our worship, marrying innovation to deeply held tradition, has served members of the church from many different viewpoints connect to each other and to their God in a spirit of worship.

And, of course, my best friends in Austin were all members of UA. I did not start this article to give personal shout-outs, but my peeps made my church life work, and helped my faith walk continue through some of the darker stretches of my recent history.

Leaving all of that behind is very frustrating. I know Dallas has many churches and many different opportunities for spiritual growth. However, I also know that my needs (both intellectual and spiritual) are rather specific and not easily addressed in contemporary faith culture settings. At least, not in the traditions that I have grown up in.

Over the next few months, I will be visiting several churches. In those visits, I will be seeking certain variables that I find important to my particular needs and desires. I will endeavor to chronicle those experiences here. I will strive to be open and transparent and will also do my best to give a fair accounting of what I see and experience. Of course, my views will be heavily represented and I do not promise to objective by any means (for this is a very personal quest). But I want a record of my search, so that I can reflect on my own expectations and my judgments.

So begins a great adventure.


Post a Comment

<< Home