Jump to content
IGNORED

Map Of Family Integrated Churches


debrand

Recommended Posts

Vision Forum is a family integrated church which means that there is no separated children/adult services. Also, I think that male heads of households pass out communion to their families. I found a map of FIC churches throughout the world. You can discover if there is a similar church near you.

There are no FIC in South America or Africa.

ncfic.org/network/

Touch your cursor over the map and you can view how many churches/pastors and members there are. If you click on the US, you can view individual states

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I saw a some in upstate SC. I'm not at all surprised to see Reedy River Presbyterian Church on there as I've known they were batshit crazy for a looong time. I met the pastor's wife one time and it's the first time I was ever exposed to blanket training. I saw an Alan on there from Landrum, SC. I wonder if it's the same Alan I used to know. This Alan was extremely fundamentalist about theology. He's also pinged my gaydar so hard. He ended up marrying a woman who'd gone to Bob Jones. I do know he went to an extremely conservative Presbyterian seminary. I haven't seen this guy in years and don't want to unless it's marching in a gay pride parade in a few years with his boyfriend.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've never seen family separated churches within Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran (Missouri Synod), Presbyterian or Methodist churches. I think children's church is pretty much found only among evangelical and non-denom churches. Catholic churches seldom have nurseries, either.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A ton of evangelical churches near me have Sunday School for children scheduled at the same time as regular services so the children aren't disrupting the service plus have huge nurseries. Every Catholic church within say 20 miles has one or two masses with liturgy of the word for children and have nurseries for at least two masses a weekend. Maybe I just live in an odd area though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's Daniel Kellis, a gem from Troy, NY:

"Single at this time. Would like to find a church before having children. Have found the North-east to be a spiritual wasteland."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I grew up in the U.C.C., which is pretty much as liberal as Christianity gets. But the congregations I attended had some things in common with FIC, in that if there was a Sunday school specifically for children, it was before or after the church service, rather than during it, so that children and teachers could attend the regular service.

Most of the churches I attended were too small to staff a nursery. And my parents-- Mom especially-- weren't all that convinced that nurseries offered greater benefit to young kids than could be gained by keeping coloring books, soft toys, and cloth bags of Cheerios in the back of the sanctuary.

Story time: When I was less than a year old, my parents moved to another state and became co-pastors of a small church. The first significant fight my mom ever had in that church was with one of the elders, over my presence in worship. The elder didn't want me there. Mom did. Mom proof-texted ("Let the little children come to me," etc.) and won. I stayed in worship, sitting every week with an older woman who became my extra grandma, and the church eventually became much more welcoming to families with small children.

The things we didn't have in common with FIC churches are pretty obvious. Our services didn't last longer than about an hour. It probably never looked like I was paying attention when I was a wee sprout, because I was reading or playing quietly. Something must have gotten through, because Dad remembers arguing with me about sermons over lunch. And there wasn't any expectation that kids in worship would be absolutely silent.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm ELCA Lutheran (which is evil in the eyes of the fundie world anyway). They wouldn't consider us FIC, but we have 4 services, 2 Sunday Schools every Sunday. You can bring your child to the entire service, part of a service, or none of a service (they can attend SS while parents attend church). Nobody is required to bring kids to Sunday School. The pastors will mention several times that children are more than welcome to stay during the service. If you wanted to attend my church & keep the family together at all times, you certainly could.

I've read stories on the fundie blogs about churches that are not FIC and where parents are told children are not allowed in the sanctuary. I've never attended a church like that and have never even heard of one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Years ago, I visited a church with a friend. An usher approached me before services began and ordered me (no exceptions) to take my younger two children to a nursery. I spent the service outside with the children, waiting nearly 2 hours for my friend. I didn't sent my kids to a nursery, especially an unknown nursery with unknown people. That was my first exposure to such a controlling congregation. It was Assemblies of God, if I remember correctly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Lutheran church I grew up in was also of the "Sunday school before the service, which everyone attends together" variety - though I think that was largely due to it being really small, more than any philosophical reason. Now I attend a large Unitarian Universalist church that has a full nursery and Religious Education program that runs concurrently with the service. The kids do spend part of that time in children's chapel, and there's also one Sunday per month when they start out in the main sanctuary for 20 minutes of a kid-friendly sermon, music, or whatever. Officially, kids are always welcome in the main service if they or their parents would prefer, but in practice, I've found that a lot of members there will give you the stinkeye if your kid is anything less than completely silent in the sanctuary at all times.

I have to say I'm a fan of separate stuff for kids as long as parents have a choice in the matter. I recently had to keep my 16-month-old corralled during a 30-minute memorial service for his great-grandmother, and even with my husband there to help it was virtually impossible for the two of us to keep him from running around the sanctuary, flailing, screaming, laughing or talking inappropriately, throwing things, ripping up the hymnal, or poking himself in the eye with crayons. We mostly succeeded, but neither of us can recall much of substance about what the memorial service actually contained. If I had to do that every Sunday, going to church would rapidly become pointless for me because it would be impossible for me to pay attention to the sermon and liturgy. I much prefer leaving my kid in the nursery so that I can focus on my own spiritual development for an hour in peace, and he can have some fun, make some friends, and burn off some energy while also learning about his family's faith tradition in an age-appropriate environment.

Of course, maybe things would be different if my son had been raised from birth going to adult church services all the time. And I do think that sometimes my own church could stand to be a little more welcoming to kids in the sanctuary. But by and large I'm happy with how things are for me. I say let kids be kids whenever the opportunity arises.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I grew up in a conventional, non-fundie presbyterian church, and we had sunday school classes separated by age before the service. During the service, there was a nursery for babies/toddlers and children's church for kids ages ~4-8.

The kids would start out the service with their families in the sanctuary for the "fun" stuff, like songs and short bible readings. Before the sermon, the pastor would call the kids up and he (or someone) would do a short lesson aimed at kids, usually with some sort of props or visual aids. Then they would be dismissed for children's church, which usually included drawing, word puzzles, watching veggie tales, etc.

Children's church was voluntary, so kids could stay with their parents if they wanted...but it was a pretty quiet service and you might get the side-eye if your kids were loud or disruptive. I seem to recall doing the same thing at my grandma's presbyterian church, but I would usually go back and sit with my mom after the children's lesson because I didn't know any of the other kids.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

By the sound of your descriptions, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland is a family integrated church. It has never occurred to me that a family is split during the Service. The only restriction is that only those who have taken Confirmation Class (typically in that year a child turns 15) are allowed to take part in Holy Communion. Those who haven't taken a class can participate as well but they only receive a blessing, not bread and wine.

Children are strongly encouraged to participate and I have oftentimes heard how a pastor says that children are allowed to make noise and usually quotes that let children come to me sentence. There are special worship Services for children such as a popular teddy bear Service. But then again, our Church might be too liberal for the US taste. Rainbow Services and openly transsexual female vicars and all those ebil gay ministers...

Is that normal in the US that children go to a different place during the Service than their parents?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm also ELCA. Our church has three services each Sunday, and during one service there is Sunday School. Most of the people with kids go to that service so they can drop the kids at Sunday School and attend service without any child wrangling. Of course, there's no requirement that children be brought to Sunday School instead of church.

The Sunday School is divided by age from infants to sixth grade. After sixth grade Sunday School ends. Seventh and eighth graders attend a separate class on Tuesday nights to prepare them for confirmation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's Daniel Kellis, a gem from Troy, NY:

"Single at this time. Would like to find a church before having children. Have found the North-east to be a spiritual wasteland."

And we're proud of it! At least when it comes to these people's definition of such.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I went to an ELCA Lutheran church growing up. We had two services and both Sunday school and adult education classes ran concurrently between the services. There was a nursery available. Kids who attended the service could get a children's bulletin and there was also a children's lesson during the service where all the kids would be invited up to the front. So my church really didn't have a seperate service for kids, though the education classes did have kid seperate from the adults.

From what other people who attended ELCA churches have said, it seems there's a wide variety of worship styles (?) between churches fo the same synod.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I grew up in a conventional, non-fundie presbyterian church, and we had sunday school classes separated by age before the service. During the service, there was a nursery for babies/toddlers and children's church for kids ages ~4-8.

The kids would start out the service with their families in the sanctuary for the "fun" stuff, like songs and short bible readings. Before the sermon, the pastor would call the kids up and he (or someone) would do a short lesson aimed at kids, usually with some sort of props or visual aids. Then they would be dismissed for children's church, which usually included drawing, word puzzles, watching veggie tales, etc.

Children's church was voluntary, so kids could stay with their parents if they wanted...but it was a pretty quiet service and you might get the side-eye if your kids were loud or disruptive. I seem to recall doing the same thing at my grandma's presbyterian church, but I would usually go back and sit with my mom after the children's lesson because I didn't know any of the other kids.

I think that is a smart and lovely way to handle children in a worship environment.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I grew up in a conventional, non-fundie presbyterian church, and we had sunday school classes separated by age before the service. During the service, there was a nursery for babies/toddlers and children's church for kids ages ~4-8.

The kids would start out the service with their families in the sanctuary for the "fun" stuff, like songs and short bible readings. Before the sermon, the pastor would call the kids up and he (or someone) would do a short lesson aimed at kids, usually with some sort of props or visual aids. Then they would be dismissed for children's church, which usually included drawing, word puzzles, watching veggie tales, etc.

Children's church was voluntary, so kids could stay with their parents if they wanted...but it was a pretty quiet service and you might get the side-eye if your kids were loud or disruptive. I seem to recall doing the same thing at my grandma's presbyterian church, but I would usually go back and sit with my mom after the children's lesson because I didn't know any of the other kids.

This is exactly how the Presbyterian church I attended for 15 years ran.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are 3 in the New Orleans area, but in areas I rarely go to. Maybe a fundie sighting field trip is in order!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My Unitarian Universalist church conducts services just that way, too-- children are present for the chalice lighting, a musical performance, a hymn, the "story for all ages" aimed really at them, and then we sing them out as they go to their religious education classes for the rest of the service. They're included in a meaningful part of the service without boring them. I grew up Missouri Synod Lutheran and would love to have the endless hours of sermon back that were wasted on me as a child!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I actually considered visiting one of the churches on this list. Now I'm kinda glad I didn't. I had even spent a couple hours reading the pastor's blog.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Greek Orthodox Churches in Greece have no Sunday Schools. In the US, almost all Greek Orthodox Churches have Sunday Schools and nurseries, and congregations love them. You don't have to put your kids in Sunday School and some people choose not to, but the majority find services of our length to be torture if they have to keep corralling their kids. In our church, the Sunday School classes rotate into the liturgy, so that all classes will be in the actual service once a month. One of our previous archbishops got a wild hair a few years ago and wanted the Sunday Schools phased out, but the laity basically held up their middle finger and told him to bite them. The order was then dropped down the rabbit hole. Just my observation, but our congregations tend to have a very high tolerance for babies and toddlers being babies and toddlers in the liturgy, but a very low tolerance for school age children being disruptive since they don't have to be with mommy or daddy, so there is definitely pressure to put the school age kids in the Sunday School if they aren't able to handle the liturgy.

I'm sure if we applied the plumbing line early and often we could get perfectly well behaved little ladies and gentlemen for several hours, but Sunday School seems to make every happy. Yeah, I know, once an idolater, always an idolater.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not really understanding the point of the website. "Family Integrated" just seems to mean children aren't separated during the services, which seems to comprise a wide variety of individual churches and beliefs. The numbers listed on the website are really small - so I'm sure it doesn't cover most churches of that type.

From reading this thread it seems like individual churches cover a wide range of practices regarding how children are included for various aspects of the service - and those don't seem to be particularly tied to the denomination.

Most churches I've attended have included the children at the beginning and then they usually go out for separate nursery care or Sunday school, but I've seen a wide range, and none of the churches I've been to are at all fundamentalist.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The type of "Family Integrated" churches that Vision Forum pushes go a lot further than not separating children from the main service. Vision Forum guided churches do not allow women to speak in church AT ALL. That includes responses in any type of call and response preaching, or even announcement before or after the service. They also stress "priesthood and theologian" roles for male heads of households to the point that only the male head of household can give their families communion. There is also a lot of "multi-generational faithfulness" preached in these churches which is completely anathema to Christianity in general. Planning how many male descendants you are going to have and what types of work they are going to be doing? They want to talk biblical, let's talk biblical. The bible says that God's plans are not our plans. Yet they are building an entire new theology of immortality.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I grew up Catholic and one Sunday in third grade I went with my friend's family to their Evangelical Free church. The adults all went into the sanctuary and the kids went into separate rooms where we did a bible reading, sang some songs, and then colored. I kept asking, but when are we going to church? The lady running it kept telling me, this is church! And I was like, I know this is a church, but when are we actually going to do the church part? I was so confused!

As far as "Family-Integrated" churches go, my understanding is the same as ArteJo. Also, I think they strongly advocate homeschooling, quiverfull type stuff. The family is big and must not be separated for evil things like songs and Noah's ark coloring books.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The 2 United Methodist churches I have been a member of have both had children leave the service after about 15 minutes (before the sermon) and attend "children's church", which was different from Sunday School which was offered at a separate time. I really liked the set up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.



  • Recent Status Updates

    • BlackberryGirl

      BlackberryGirl

      Ohh jeeze, GrandBerry6 just came to me, snuggled his face in my neck and barfed, all over me. In my neck, in my hair, on my face, down inside my nightie all over the front of my nightie. Ohh FUCK! Bath, washed hair, cleaned sofa. Good times, good times.
      · 2 replies
    • Scrabblemaster

      Scrabblemaster

      I danced through my living room feeling awesome. From time to time I do this. Maybe wine is involved. Good music is definitely involved. It is awesome. I recommend it to you. With or without wine.
      · 2 replies
    • Hazelbunny

      Hazelbunny

      After a few months of trying to decide what kind of new computer to get and my brother telling me a Mac would be the best decision I could ever make and my sister telling me that would be the worst and I ought to stick to Windows.... I now have a used Mac. I am trying to get used to it. Not easy, but the Magnifying program is a lot better than the Windows one (that was the ultimate reason for my decision) and FJ works a lot better than on my 10-year old Laptop, too!!  
      · 0 replies
    • WannabeHistorian

      WannabeHistorian

      Y'all, holter monitors suck. And naturally the palpitations that caused this test to be ordered are remarkably absent today. 
      I'm off to go work out in the hopes that triggers it. T minus 10 hours till I get this thing off. 
      · 4 replies
    • 47of74

      47of74

      Fuck Fornicate.  Glad I got in to see this place before the world went to shit.
       
      · 0 replies
    • PreciousPantsofDoom

      PreciousPantsofDoom

      I frigging hate the toilets at this worksite. Specifically the door locks. Stupid little knoblet that isn't clear if it is locked or not. Door opens right off the main hallway and the toilet is just far enough from the door that I can't just hold the door shut in case I've got the lock wrong. I mean really people, how hard is it to design this? I just want to pee in private with no anxiety. Apparently that is too much to ask for. 
      · 1 reply
    • 47of74

      47of74

      First thing I'm doing when I get to the hereafter is finding the ancestors who moved to the US in the first place and asking them what the fuck they were thinking moving here in the first place.  Along with giving them an epic the reason you suck speech hopefully in the presence of God and the Lord Jesus Christ Himself to all of them for condemning their descendants to living in a shithole.
      · 0 replies
    • feministxtian

      feministxtian

      Its STILL snowing. Its not like I don't have a million things to do and need to take crap to the dumpster. 
      · 2 replies
    • Chocolate Lover

      Chocolate Lover

      Do any of you play Dyson Sphere Program?   For those who don't know what it is I'd suggest Googling it, because there's no way I could do it justice. 
      There's always just one more thing to do before I turn off.  Blink!  And it's 2 hours later.  
      · 0 replies
    • Granwych

      Granwych

      I have a chance to undergo esketamine treatment for depression.  If any FJers have any thoughts, I’d appreciate them.
      · 3 replies
  • Recent Blog Entries

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.