Thank you all for responding to my post on finding a new church home. Also, check out my friend Jason's response, which he posted over on his blog, for more reading. I think the stories you've shared are fascinating - you never know what will be the deciding factor for someone to call a church 'home' - no magic pattern. That's a needed reminder sometimes.
Actually, I should have mentioned that my mom is currently looking for a new church home (a blogless family member - shocking, I know) Her journey is somewhat aided by the fact that her daughter and her brother are both pastors in the conference, so we have plenty of suggestions for her!
Today she worshipped with a congregation near her hometown who has a new pastor as of July 1st of this year - one of the few African-American clergy in our conference, one of even fewer female African-American clergy. The church is a smaller church, but filled up for its size, and my mom thought the pastor was great and very spirit-filled. But one of the other parishioners commented to her: "I don't think it detracts from us that we have a black pastor." Ugh. I guess it was her attempt to show how not-prejudiced she was, but I think she missed the mark a bit...
I think my mom may still end up attending this church, despite the comments of some, but if she tours more churches, I'll tell you how her first-time experiences go. She's like my reporter working out in the field ;)