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I am a relatively new reader of this board, and I'm very confused about a lot of things. I am hoping that some of the regulars on this board may give me some guidance, answers or opinions.

I am taking a course at our church which is an introduction to the Christian faith. Today's chapter is entitled What about the Church? In the context of this course, the accepted definition of the Church is this: The church is made up of the people belonging to God, who are bound together in love as family, representing Christ to the world.

At the beginning of this session, a question was asked: Do you have to go to Church to be a Christian? At the end of the session, the leader said that the answer to this question is: you are the church. Several people in the group thought the question had not been adequately answered, and I got the impression that they were equating Church with worship or liturgy. I see the Church in the universal sense, much more than just recitations from the prayer book or readings from the Bible.

I am a skeptic by nature, and have reservations about the church as an institution, particularly the Catholic church. So I am not a regular church-goer. I am not anti-religious (if I were, I might be posting to the atheist's board), and really want to learn more.

In my mind, I have never NOT been a Christian. So my answer to the question is, yes, you can be a Christian without going to church, as the church as so much more than just a gathering on Wednesday nights or Saturday or Sunday mornings.

My husband's response was that this is something between me and God.
Just so you don't get the wrong idea, he goes to worship services every Sunday, and also takes the grandchildren. My daughter had a few bad experiences with some of the members of our church, and has chosen not to attend. But she does read the Bible, and is very happy to have her children attend church, as she feels a Christian upbringing is very important.

Thanks for your help,

Something else that is also confusing: when do you use the word Church and when do you use the word church? When to capitalize?

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