Hi Rev. Amy at ULC:
I am really grateful that I found your ministry! It is so unique and open and free-flowing! I am sure you will understand my story briefly:
I am middle-aged, and began going back to church in the late 1990s, earned a couple of Bible degrees, etc. and have done ministry work in Alzheimer's care, elderly shut-ins, troubled youth, etc. Currently doing pet ministry, as I also am very involved in animal rescue, shelter work with animals.
I went to some really dysfunctional churches and kept quitting organized religion, meaning, I continued studying the Bible, going to Bible studies, taking courses, but stayed away from churches for years until coming back several years ago. I found some contemporary charismatic churches, with the stadium style worship, with rock & roll music. It was really refreshing and now I attend 2 churches, do volunteer work with the churches, and can even go out and eat dinner with the pastor and others.
What kept me from the churches was the Do's and Don'ts and the persecution, of just being "single" they thought if you were single, you were a sinner, and I was not out there like the world, but they thought that and made comments, and also they didn't like divorced people, etc. It was awful, to try and go to a place of worship when they criticize and judge a person right at the church.
BUT, with ULC & its seminary, is a new wave of church mentality, to not judge (in the Bible), to respect others, and do what's right. I feel great to now belong to ULC & am planning education thru your seminary. I am really looking forward to the Biblical Egyptology course, as I like biblical archaeology, and read & study it constantly.
Thanks for a great ministry and great people there.