He believes he is fairly typical of his generation: ``In the past, people simply followed whatever they were told. They thought being a good Catholic was showing up to Mass on Sunday and the holy days. Now we look more for explanations.''
Lama Karma Chotso, 61, grew up attending Presbyterian and Methodist churches in her small North Dakota town. Though not particularly religious, she was always curious about other faiths and ``looking for someone to emulate.'' In her 30s, while living in New York, she found a connection to Tibetan Buddhism.
After many years of study, she became a Buddhist nun. Today she lives in El Portal and teaches her faith to students seeking the same connection and meaning she herself pursued.
``Sometimes I think they just need to learn how to relate to themselves,'' she says.
Religious fluidity is not confined to boomers, of course. About half of American adults have changed religious affiliation at least once, according to a study of 2007 data by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life. In fact, the group that has grown the most in recent years is the unaffiliated.
``We all have to come to God in our own way,'' says Miami attorney Alan G. Greer, author of Choices & Challenges: Lessons in Faith, Hope and Love (Morgan James, 2009). ``It's the ultimate personal experience. People have trouble with religion when it's shoved down their throat.''
That's not to say religion is not important to boomers. In fact, the Pew study found that 58 percent of boomers considered religion very important and 26 percent somewhat important. What's more, 74 percent were certain of their belief in God or a universal spirit, 37 percent read scripture weekly, 61 percent prayed daily and 46 percent meditated weekly.
Traupman is typical of this group. Having grown up in an observant Roman Catholic family in Philadelphia, he broke with the church in college after telling his family he was gay.
``The reaction was, `Go to the priest and get yourself fixed.' But I wasn't buying that.''
A class in world religions opened Traupman's mind to other faiths and launched his search for a spiritual home. In the Unitarian church, ``we have a connected community and respect for each other's beliefs,'' he says. ``We have people from all faiths as well as people who don't come from any tradition.''
Boomers are seekers, experts say. Some, like Lisa Kubis, 53, of Dania Beach, find answers in mainline churches, their faith deepening with age.
Though Kubis' family did not attend church, she went with neighbors as a child, and eventually married and had her three children baptized in the Catholic faith. She did not attend Mass regularly, however.
``I believed in God and we prayed every night, but I didn't go anywhere,'' she says.
After a divorce, she began attending Mass at St. Maurice Catholic Church, sitting in the back for a year before deciding to attend the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults. Kubis became involved in various church ministries as her faith developed.
``I feel I belong here,'' she says. ``The fellowship and the presence of Jesus in the community -- I've never seen it in other churches I visited.''
Other boomers shop around, diving in and out of religious practices until their needs are met. ``It's a supermarket approach, itinerant spirituality,'' says Nathan Katz, director of the Program in the Study of Spirituality at Florida International University. ``There isn't necessarily a settling into a tradition as generations past have done as they got older, but a cobbling together.''