Sunday, 14 August 2011
Okay, I feel like I’m going to get a visit from the truant officer or something, but here goes. We didn’t go to our ‘regular’ church this morning and visited *gasp* a different church.
This week, we visited a Pentecostal church. When we arrived, the singing had already started – we could hear it from the parking lot. We went in, found a place in the back row and slipped in as quietly as a family of six can manage.
The worship team – a keyboardist (and lead singer), a drummer, a guitarist and a singer – were in front leading the smallish congregation (about 40-50). I didn’t recognise any of the songs but it was easy to follow along because the words were displayed on the screen. Our ‘regular’ church sings Psalms only and this church sang what you might call contemporary songs. They had a ‘Jesus is my boyfriend’ feel, some of them. The difference between music styles and the subsequent feelings of disorientation a visitor might feel reminded me of the “Hymns vs. Praise Choruses” story that has been making the rounds on the internet. If you haven’t read the story, you can read it here. It is quite funny. (FWIW, I wasn’t disoriented because I have been part of this type of church before, but I can imagine how someone else might feel like a fish out of water. )
There was no Communion today. I don’t know how often they take Communion and I didn’t ask. (It’s been months since I’ve had Communion.)
After the Offerings were taken up and the announcements were made, the children were sent off to Sunday School (of our four, only Mast. 9 went off ‘to see what it’s like’) and the rest of us listened to the sermon.
The pastor preached on one verse: Micah 6:8
8He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the LORD require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
This church has a good mix of congregants: there were babies all the way to seniors.
After the sermon, we were invited to have a cuppa.
The Sunday School reported that Mast. 9 was ‘very smart’. Mast. 9 is on the Autism Spectrum, so for him take the initiative and go into a strange new environment and (even) impress the teachers enough to be labelled ‘very smart’ is quite remarkable. Of course, I don’t really know what was taught today. He came out with a Find-the-word Activity Sheet. My feelings on this will have to be the topic for another blogpost. Suffice to say, if that is ALL he did (or got out of it), I would not be happy.
The people were warm, friendly and welcoming. They engaged us in conversation and it was more than a “Hello, how are you?” type of greeting. More than half the congregation shook hands with us and about half a dozen or so sat down and chatted with us for more than half an hour. It was that friendly.
They found out that we homeschool, so there was some talk about that. I don’t think there are any other home schoolers in this church. The people who talked to us sent their children to Christian schools (the children have since grown up and no longer go to school).
One man told of how he and his wife looked at the local state schools and decided that a Christian school would be better. He also talked about his surprise that ‘even’ at the Christian school his daughter was taught the Theory of Evolution. I asked if the church has a stand on the issue and he said that he has never heard any specific mention of it but that most people in the church would probably think that evolution is ‘a bunch of rubbish’. And that evolution is ‘only a theory’. *sigh*
I told him where I stood and said that a ‘scientific theory’ is not a hypothesis or a guess. We ended that conversation on friendly terms.
Overall, it was a pleasant experience.