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I know she’s just being helpful, but…

April 4, 2011

My mother keeps sending me e-mails about church jobs in their area… It gets harder and harder to act interested. It helps a bit that they are all SBC churches that she hears about, since my father is the pastor of an SBC church, and before I had come to accept my atheism I was defiantly not looking for employment by another SBC church. My family probably assumes I’m mostly interested in PCA churches, one of the two more conservative of the Presbyterian denominations active around here, but really I was looking more to PCUSA and possibly UMC or CBF churches, some of the more liberal denominations, or especially Episcopal churches. As much because these churches tend to do more classical styles of music than the SBC as because they tend to have a more liberal theology.

Of course, now that I am being honest with myself I can’t imagine applying for a job at a church. But my family doesn’t know that, of course, so they keep telling me about jobs that I couldn’t apply to. And each time it is harder to not just say, “I’m not interested in working for the church anymore because I no longer believe in God.” One day maybe I’ll be in a spot where I can tell her the truth, I’m not there yet.


Edit: I should probably call the CBF, UMC, and maybe the Episcopal church moderate, but for the purposes here I’m comparing the other denominations to the SBC and PCA, in which case the other denominations I mentioned are, indeed, more liberal (moderate is more liberal than conservative). I just wanted to make sure that I didn’t irritate some of my readers who may be a part of those denominations while considering them not to be liberal. I tend to think of them as liberal since the time I have spent in church was in the SBC and PCA churches.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. John permalink
    April 27, 2011 4:13 pm

    I really appreciate hearing your story. I too was raised SBC, but I’m now a music minister in a CBF church. I’m also a part time atheist/agnostic, and some days it’s easy, other days it is very difficult. It’s nice to know there is someone else out there with a similar story, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    • May 14, 2011 4:38 pm

      What do you mean that you’re a part time atheist/agnostic? Just that you haven’t figured out what you believe yet?

      Thanks for the comment! Sorry it took me a while to respond, I haven’t been very active online in a couple of weeks.

  2. August 24, 2011 5:27 pm

    A friend of mine plays for the UU church. We occasionally jam with them too. (By we, I mean my banjo-playing husband.) They play hymns very infrequently and always with the words changed. Anything like that in your area? Of course, that may make your mom’s blood pressure skyrocket.

    • August 24, 2011 10:20 pm

      That wouldn’t be for me, so much. I’m a choral musician and quite the music snob, I’d need a UU church that does choral masterworks on a regular basis. :)

      The local UU church I think does the UU sanitized hymns mostly, I haven’t been but I know a few folks who go.

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