denominational heritage

I don’t know that this is important, but I do think it’s interesting. My parents have no denominational loyalty, but their parents did–loyalties that were negotiated in marriages, of course. They were of the generation who, whether they had a personal faith or not, had a church. I won’t try to speak to personal faith, but none of them was particularly faithful to the church, at least not in their grandparent years.

My dad’s dad was a Congregationalist as a boy. Dad’s mom was Presbyterian. Together they were Presbyterian in a church that is now a part of the PC(USA). That’s where my dad grew up–being sent, but not taken–to church.

I’m pretty certain that, as a Dane from Nebraska, my Mom’s mom was raised Lutheran. Mom’s dad had some sort of Friends upbringing in his childhood in Ohio–I was never too clear on that–but he identified as Disciples of Christ when my mom was young. I don’t now if he and my grandma ever went to church together or not. I do know that my mom would find a church (Disciples of Christ) wherever they moved (Navy family) because that was an entree into a social circle.

So that is that. They were all in mainline churches of one sort or another. No Evangelicals in that generation. The sole child of my parent’s generation who followed in his denominational heritage was my dad’s elder brother and none of his kids are PC(USA)ers at this point–though one cousin is in the Presbyterian Church in America. My parents’ rebellion was to become Evangelical. And given the lack of interest in their parents’ generation, who can blame them? The Evangelical churches in the 70s were on fire. This was the Jesus Movement time. And my rebellion is to return to the mainline. But I like to think it’s a different mainline than it was half a century ago, even if it’s a quieter change and people outside the churches don’t realize that.

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