First, an editorial comment about my wife. She is smarter than me, much nicer than me, and much, much beter looking than me. To this day (almost 14 years later) I can't understand why she married me. Thank God for miracles.
My wife is a life long Presbyterian. Other than her time in college and a couple of years right after college when she worked in another town, she has attended the same church her entire life. It is a member of the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) which is the largest and most liberal of several denominations of Presbyterians in the United States. We were married in her church. For the first couple of years of our marriage, we sort of alternated between my her church and mine. But then we had our first child.
Having children changes your perspective on many things. (One day maybe I'll write a post on all the things it changes.) But one thing it made me do was to think seriously about my faith and how we were going to raise our children. To begin with, we decided we should both belong to the same church. It seemed logical to me that I should join my wife's church. It didn't make sense to me to ask her to leave a church she grew up in to join one that I had only been a member of a few years, so about 11 or 12 years ago, I became a Presbyterian.
There were a lot of things I liked about this church. The people were very nice to me. They were also (and, in fact, still are) very good to our kids. The first two ministers we had after I joined (we're on our 3rd now) gave good, thought provoking sermons. But there were things that bothered me.
I hated the way we celebrated communion. I grew up in the Methodist church going up to the communion rail to receive the elements. In this church, we kept our seats and the bread and juice were passed out like the collection plates. I hated it. My wife tried to explain the theology behind us serving each other, but I still didn't like it. It's hard to articulate a logical reason behind my dislike, but it just didn't feel right. And I didn't think it evoked a proper sense of decorum about the whole process. I'd be receiving the bread and I would hear the couple on the pew behind us discussing where they were going to eat lunch. Ugh.
I also thought we needed more "worship" during the worship service. The sermon was clearly the focal point of the service. Sometimes this made the whole thing feel like a glorified bible study. I know that this characterization is probably unfair, but I'm trying to give a feel for some of the reasons I felt dissatisfied.