Rose Madrid-Swetman

— Random Thoughts, Stories of Life, and Questions about the Journey —


February 11, 2009

I Need Help

Category: All Posts – Rose – 4:08 pm

Hi everyone,
I am in the process of beginning my dissertation. I need help doing a blind survey. If you would let all your friends ages 17-35 know about this I would be most grateful. I need them to visit my blog and either in the comments or by email to office@vineyard-cc.org and answer the following questions. Again, I need you to be 17-35 years old. All answers will be anonymous. I will use as research for my project and will own the rights to print them (anonymously) in other media. I am trying to reach 200-250 responses.

Again, please let as many as your friends know about this survey. Log into my blog and either answer the questions below in the comments or copy and paste the survey with answers into an email and send them to office@vineyard-cc.org

Survey

1. How old are you?

2. What gender?

3. Do you ascribe to any religion?

4. If yes, which one? Please describe if you are an active participant in your religion and what that looks like for you.

5. If no, please answer the following:

a. If you were going to investigate spirituality which brand of faith would you be interested in learning more about?

b. Why?

c. If you were going to join a spiritual community, what would you like the gatherings to be like, i.e., a church service, a small group meeting that has discussion, spiritual practices, would there be singing or music involved? Could you describe what kind of gathering you would find interesting and how often you would want to meet? Please try to describe in detail all of the different elements you would like included in a gathering of people exploring faith and spirituality together.

19 Comments »

  1. 1. 26

    2. Male

    3. Yes

    4. Buddhism. Not so active. Looks like my nearest temple is 40 minutes by car away. I go for big holidays sometimes. I used to be Christian but that was just for play. Now, I’m back to who I am. I entered the monastery when I was 24 but only for 2 weeks and only because my mother was sick. I don’t believe in any magical man looking over my life in any meaningful way. If you are Christian, you should try Buddhism, too. You don’t have to give up worship of your God, and you might learn a few cool things along the way: e.g. meditation, breathing technique, compassion, fun stories, etc.

    5. N/A

    Good luck with your survey.

    Comment by Mati Varavut — February 12, 2009 @ 9:17 am

  2. 1. 33
    2. Female
    3. Yes
    4. Catholic, I am very active in my church, I teach Cathecism to 3rd grade students, I teach Vacation Bible school, and volenteer in the church’s kitchen for functions.

    Comment by Jamie Alvarez — February 12, 2009 @ 10:41 am

  3. Rose, I’m too old to answer your questions but I’ll put your request out on twitter to see if we can attract some younger people who can!

    Comment by Chad Estes — February 12, 2009 @ 8:50 pm

  4. 1. 34
    2. Female
    3. Yes
    4. Christian, We attend two services weekly at a Four Square church. My husband and I both help with the children’s ministries. We also attend some of the special events and try to help those around us who need help–wether they attend our chruch or not.

    Comment by Kimberly Edwards — February 12, 2009 @ 9:20 pm

  5. 1.) 26
    2.) female
    3.) Bible believing Christian. (That is, Reformed Presbyterian.)
    4.) Each day – throughout the day – I read the Scriptures, meditate upon them, memorize them, pray, sing and journal about my life. On Sundays I worship God corporately, listening to the preaching of His word, partaking of the sacraments (which symbolize different lessons of His grace), singing Psalms with thanksgiving toward God and revering Him. I also fellowship with the believers who worship with me, as well as those other Bible believing Christians in my community.
    It’s really difficult for me to tell you briefly what Christianity “looks like” for me, and there are a very many facets of it that I haven’t even touched upon that I consider completely vital to my “religious lifestyle.”
    Each day, I live my life knowing that I am a sinner, and that I have rebelled against a Holy God, having sinned against His Grace, and provoked Him to His face. I’ve partaken in lies, lust, covetousness, rebelliousness, pride, envy, and the like. Yet I also live knowing that He has promised salvation to all those who believe on Him, and all those who trust in Him. And so, when money is tight, when jobs are scarce, when times get difficult, I remember to Whom I belong, and I trust. I trust in Him for my daily bread, and I thank Him for His sovereignty, even in times when there is no bread, knowing that I may be tried for a time, but in the end any suffering I endure – which is momentary and fleeting – is for my own strengthening. Often times, I think of people who have no faith in God, and I marvel that they can make it through life; especially those who’ve lost spouses and friends and children, or endured some harsh disaster or tragedy. How can they possibly go through life without a loving God to cling to, whose mercy endures forever, and whose lovingkindness was before He spoke the worlds into existence?
    Yet I don’t trust perfectly all the time. And I don’t walk perfectly all the time. But I live my life looking toward the cross of Christ: it is my hope, it is my help, and it is God’s promise to me of redemption and Grace. It is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power and the wisdom of God.

    This is really just a snowflake on the iceberg of living a life surrendered to Christ. You may contact me any time you like if you wish to know more.

    Take care.

    Comment by Elizabeth Snow — February 12, 2009 @ 11:22 pm

  6. 1. How old are you?

    19

    2. What gender?

    M

    3. Do you ascribe to any religion?

    Yes

    4. If yes, which one? Please describe if you are an active participant in your religion and what that looks like for you.

    Christian. To me being a Christian means loving God and loving my neighbor. It means understanding that God’s favor is forever upon mankind, and there is nothing I can do to make him love me more or less than he does. It means God accepts me as I and not as I should be because I’m never going to be as I should be. In accepting this I am able to allow his unending love flow through me and into the world around me. Being a Christian means embracing love, beauty, life, and truth wherever they may be found. And yes I actively attempt to do this every moment of my life.

    Comment by Jimmy Owsley — February 12, 2009 @ 11:37 pm

  7. 1) 26
    2) Male
    3) Yes
    4) Russian orthodox. I used to go to church every Sunday, participate in church activities, go to meetings, etc. With me deciding to go back to school, my participation in church activities has dropped. I only go on major holidays.

    Comment by Andrey Doroshenko — February 13, 2009 @ 6:29 am

  8. 1. How old are you? 33

    2. What gender? Female

    3. Do you ascribe to any religion? No

    4. If yes, which one? Please describe if you are an active participant in your religion and what that looks like for you.

    5. If no, please answer the following:

    a. If you were going to investigate spirituality which brand of faith would you be interested in learning more about?
    I would not be interesed.

    b. Why?
    Organized religion tends to be exclusionary and judgmental. I am not that kind of person.

    c. If you were going to join a spiritual community, what would you like the gatherings to be like, i.e., a church service, a small group meeting that has discussion, spiritual practices, would there be singing or music involved? Could you describe what kind of gathering you would find interesting and how often you would want to meet? Please try to describe in detail all of the different elements you would like included in a gathering of people exploring faith and spirituality together.

    Comment by Anon — February 13, 2009 @ 8:59 am

  9. 1. 19

    2. female

    3. not really any religion, but just plain jane Christianity. 🙂

    4. Um, well I believe that Jesus lived, was the son of God, and died for our sins and He offers us grace if we accept it. I go to church but it’s not “required” by my religion. I am active in volunteering because I like helping people, i think that if i was in any religion i would still do that. 🙂

    Comment by anna smith — February 13, 2009 @ 10:10 am

  10. 1. 24
    2. Male
    3. Yes
    4. Catholic. I’m not as active lately because, unfortunately, religion isn’t a priority in my life. Otherwise, I’ll pray on my own rather than through a priest.

    Comment by ag — February 13, 2009 @ 9:27 pm

  11. 1. 17
    2. Female
    3. Yes, Episcopal
    4. I guess I’m active. I go on mission trips, go to church, go to a weekly Bible study and stuff.

    Comment by Mary — February 14, 2009 @ 11:26 am

  12. 1. How old are you? 20

    2. What gender? Female

    3. Do you ascribe to any religion? Catholic/Buddhist influence

    4. If yes, which one? Please describe if you are an active participant in your religion and what that looks like for you.

    I believe in Jesus Christ but I believe in the inner peace, beauty, and wisdom Catholicism took from Buddhism.

    5. If no, please answer the following:

    a. If you were going to investigate spirituality which brand of faith would you be interested in learning more about?

    b. Why?

    c. If you were going to join a spiritual community, what would you like the gatherings to be like, i.e., a church service, a small group meeting that has discussion, spiritual practices, would there be singing or music involved? Could you describe what kind of gathering you would find interesting and how often you would want to meet? Please try to describe in detail all of the different elements you would like included in a gathering of people exploring faith and spirituality together.

    Comment by Natalie — February 14, 2009 @ 11:37 am

  13. 1. 33
    2. Male
    3. Yes
    4. Christian
    I meet regularly with other christians to talk about life and what it means to live life as a christian. I do go to church, though not every week.
    5. N/A

    Comment by Tim — February 14, 2009 @ 10:54 pm

  14. 1. How old are you?

    21

    2. What gender?

    Male

    3. Do you ascribe to any religion?

    Catholic 50%/Tolstoyian 25%/Evangelical 25%

    4. If yes, which one? Please describe if you are an active participant in your religion and what that looks like for you.

    I attend a Jesuit college, I go to mass every once in awhile. I would go more often but I don’t know too many other people there. Even though I don’t go to mass often I spend a lot of time in the chapel praying. I also go to evangelical college service once a week. I work and volunteer in two different ministries one is academic and the other is with urban kids.

    Comment by Tyler Mahoney — February 15, 2009 @ 11:53 am

  15. 1. How old are you? 20

    2. What gender? female

    3. Do you ascribe to any religion? no

    4. If yes, which one? Please describe if you are an active participant in your religion and what that looks like for you.

    5. If no, please answer the following:

    a. If you were going to investigate spirituality which brand of faith would you be interested in learning more about?
    I consider myself spiritual, but don’t ascribe to any certain religion. If I were going to learn more about any faith, it would probably be buddhism.

    b. Why? Buddhism provides guidance on how to act and live, but does not condemn people who fail to follow these guidelines, the worst that can happen is that you are reborn and get another chance to get it right.

    c. If you were going to join a spiritual community, what would you like the gatherings to be like, i.e., a church service, a small group meeting that has discussion, spiritual practices, would there be singing or music involved? Could you describe what kind of gathering you would find interesting and how often you would want to meet? Please try to describe in detail all of the different elements you would like included in a gathering of people exploring faith and spirituality

    I find that I feel most in touch with my spirituality when I am alone, in a quiet place, and especially when looking at something of natural beauty. If I were to join a spiritual community, however, I don’t think these elements would be necessary. I suppose I would prefer a quiet space. Meeting once a week would be adequate for me. I think I would like a combination of a reading of a sacred text and a period of meditation and prayer, where people reflect on the meaning of the passage, what it means to them and how to apply any lessons or directions in their lives.

    Comment by Julia Klima — February 16, 2009 @ 2:37 pm

  16. 1. 23
    2. Female
    3. Do you ascribe to any religion? This is a tough question for me and one I am still trying to work out a good answer to. I grew up in a very Christian home that I would state was very religious. Currently, I would say that I do not ascribe to any religion, but I have a very close relationship with God. My family went through a spiritual journey that caused us to realize that all of the religious routines that we were practicing, such as going to church every Sunday, was doing nothing to truly change our hearts. My religious life was a mask that I spent all my life projecting for other people, concentrating to make sure that I was doing everything right, so that no one could find fault with me. I realized that I was living a lie. We started focusing, as a family, to live the truth of what we were and living each day in the grace of God. My belief is not a religion to me, and I don’t even like to call it Christianity, though you could if you wanted to. My belief is a life and a relationship with my Heavenly Father. My answer to your question would be “No”.

    5 a. Which brand of faith would you be more interested in learning about? I don’t feel this question applies to me, as I did not lose a faith, I just lost my religion.

    c. If you were going to join a spiritual community, what would you like the gatherings to be like, i.e., a church service, a small group meeting that has discussion, spiritual practices, would there be singing or music involved? Could you describe what kind of gathering you would find interesting and how often you would want to meet? Please try to describe in detail all of the different elements you would like included in a gathering of people exploring faith and spirituality together.

    I feel that my life at the moment is very close to my desire for any kind of spiritual fellowship. The only way it could get better was if it continued to look more and more like the interaction between Jesus and his disciples, as well as the interaction in the early Church, daily life together, openness between friends, love being shown to each other in real ways. This can happen in any setting, living room, public gathering place, grocery store, because it is based off of life and not a system of beliefs. Sharing your life with someone can be infinitely more difficult than meeting once a week, but also infinitely more rewarding.

    Comment by Melody — February 16, 2009 @ 4:40 pm

  17. 1. 20

    2. Male

    3. Not currently.

    5a. Buddhism.

    5b. Because I have always been interested in it. At first, I probably just like it because it was different, but then when I learned more about it in high school, and after reading Siddhartha, I became even more interested. I like the individual, peaceful, and non-judgemental nature of Buddhism. I have always believed that religion should be an individual endeavor that one participates in alone in the peace and quiet, where thoughts are not clouded. I also like that it’s not very traditional, at least in America, and there’s that element of mystique about it. I also tend to agree with a lot of what Buddhism teaches through the Four Noble Truths and such.

    5c. I would like a spiritual community that I join to be more of a small group that has meetings and discussions. There would definitely be music involved as I believe music can be very spiritual. There might be elements of tradition and some reading of texts but it would be mostly discussion, just talking about issues and reflecting on events and maybe trying to guide one another. It would be both spiritual and intellectual. There would also be periods of meditation. “That which comes closest to expressing the inexpressible is silence.”

    These were some very interesting questions that were actually fun to think about and answer. I enjoyed this time of self-reflecting. Thank you for the opportunity and good luck with your dissertation!! 🙂

    Comment by Matt Heintz — February 17, 2009 @ 11:39 am

  18. 1. 23

    2. female

    3. yes

    4. Christianity. I am a youth worker on staff at a church.

    Comment by Audrey — March 24, 2009 @ 1:53 pm

  19. 1. 29
    2. male
    3. yes
    4. I am a Follower of the Way (a.k.a. Christian). I am studying theology at a Bible College with hopes of going into full time ministry. I quit bothering with denominations a long time ago, but I currently fellowship with a Vineyard church on Sundays, and a hodge podge of men on Wednesdays. I have also thrown off the title “Christian” as I believe that it has lost it’s meaning in today’s culture, and Follower of the Way sounds more interesting. My personal relationship with God involves opening my eyes to the reality that God is actively involved in every aspect of my day. I spend my day seeking in diologue as well fellowship with Him.

    Have fun doing the survey

    Comment by jon — April 26, 2009 @ 4:48 pm

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