I was fortunate to live in Manhattan so all cultures were accepted. The only uncool thing was believing yours was exclusive. The experience at the Cathedral was interesting. Perhaps b.c of my poli sci training, I became interested in different facets of the church. There are several styles of worship: Anglo-Catholic which desperately wants reunion with Rome. It is more popish than the pope. High Church - the Cathedral. Catholic in outward style but progressive Protestant liturgy, Broad or Middle Church - a middle position, carving out a combo of Catholic and Reformed styles and Low Church, most of the American South, a de-emphasis on the Eucharist compared to other religions. I took some courses at the seminary. Lutherans, Methdodists and Russian Orhtodox freely audit each other's courses. Polish Catholics, who do not follow Rome, actually graduate from Episcopal seminaries. Harvard and Union Theological probably have the best academic programs. They are nondenomination Protestant. Union is for certain. Jewish Theological is directly across the street.
All this was remarkable to me. Frankly, I parish shopped in NY to find where I most comfortable. I selected a church on Park Ave. that had a vibrant community program for prof's singles. The Astors donated the facilities. They used to give preference to nonNew Yorkers recently arrived who may not have extensive friendship circles yet. I sit with the priest privately and announce who I am and that it is not going to change. The Witnesses are discussed, my High Church preference, need for an intellectual crowd, politcal and social interests. Church music is very important to me now. Whatever the Witnesses were, I am the opposite. No accident involved. The priests are very upfront iwth me and will often recommend other churches within commuting distance. I also rely heavily on word of mouth. My present church is not very fulfilling after my fast paced intellectual corporate NY churches.
My premise is I am who I am. The religion must be tailored to what is important to me. I don't believe many Episcopal formal d octrines but neither do the priests or other laypeople. I want an organ and a very good choir. The minister must preach a good sermon. Churches exist. The only churches I avoid like the plague are the fundamental evangelicals. We don't need to discuss why they bother me so much. The idea that God appeared to the only English Northern European family in Nazareth is funny. Americans are so self-centered. The vast majority of the world would be excluded. Christianity was very diverse in the beginning. I imagine much more fluid than now. The Bible was not canonized for a very long time so how do we know its version of events is true. Gnosticism offered a very different view of the same events. Canonization was political. We would not believe Obama was elected b/c of the Holy Spirit (well, some gung ho Dems might) nor that he is the antiCrhist. The Bible was not the Bible in Jesus' and Paul's day.
The world is vast. As Witnesses, we were kept from the world. My heart beat so fast when I first started attending the cathedral with no thought of worshipping there. I encourage you to continue your journey. There is no way to convey how the Witnesses ran against my basic temperament, devoid of content. I am not there type. It was so, so lonely. The KH was almost all black. We were the only whites. My father hung out at Bethel with his old friends but never did the proper KH thing. I accidentally (maybe it was synchronicity) found a church that truly accepts me. While I sit there, totally entranced by the sermon and listen to heavenly music, I think it can't be me. Happiness is hard to accept. Grace is very hard to accept. Tillich wrote about salvation for others. The hard thing is accepting that God loves us with grace. I don't need to do good works or be a fashion model. I am completely acceptable for who I am. I never heard that in the Witnesses. Rejection was ever present. I've had Anglican political problems but it is so different.
Word of mouth is invaluable. All churches sound good on paper.