Monday, April 12, 2010

Church Hopping - Part 4

It's been a while since Church Hopping - Part 3. Since then, we've mostly been going to Blackbelt Baptist. We did go back to Golgotha Baptist once because they were having a retirement service for the pastor there.  Since my last post on the subject, I have visited the following churches:
Fate Anglican Church
This was one of those small churches in a school gym. The pastor didn't like the liberal direction the Anglican church of Canada was going, so he broke off and joined a more conservative network of Anglican churches. You gotta really respect that. So, given what it was - a small church, it wasn't bad. I liked how the pastor had a Q&A period at the end of his sermon. It was different being in back in a liturgical church. I can see how some of those prayers and creeds could get old. They become just words you say every week, but once in a while, they're really good. The authors obviously put a lot of time and effort into them.
Redemption Alliance
The oddest thing about this church was that all the music was played before the sermon. There was no closing song. The music was very good. I enjoyed it much. The people were somewhat friendly. One distracting thing was this one guy on the worship team was wearing a short-sleeved Hawaiian shirt. This was in February. It was out of place! Other than that, it seemed to be a run of the mill church. Nothing special either way.
Oak Orchard Church
Every so often Blackbelt Baptist and Oak Orchard Church have combined services. They also combine for their youth oriented groups. I've been to Oak Orchard twice; once in a combined service, and once in a regular service. The music was always very good. The people were really friendly. I haven't been assaulted with that many "Hello and who are you?"s since Beaver Creek Baptist Church. They do communion every week, which is odd to me. For communion, they just have one loaf of bread that everyone breaks a piece off of. The germophobe in me doesn't like this. Thankfully I brought my hand sanitizer with me that morning. Then the speaker, who wasn't the pastor, started speaking. He was to give a "quick summation" of the life of Joseph. This "quick summation" took a long time. I think it would have been just as fast to read that portion out of Genesis. All in all, it wasn't bad. I'd go back a few times.
Village Baptist
The music was odd. They had a lot of talented musicians, but the layout was different. They had two stages. On the main stage stood the guitarist, two vocalists, and an old-school choir. On the second stage sat the bass guitarist, an electric guitarist, a keyboardist, and the drummer. I find it really odd to have a choir singing contemporary worship music. But, they made it work. The preaching wasn't bad, but it wasn't good either. And no one, not even the ushers, said "Hi" to me. I won't be going back.
I enjoyed this service. There was a huge young adults group. I think they took up about 4 or 5 pews. I haven't seen that since my church in Sault Ste. Marie. One guy came over to talk to me and invite me to sit with the young adults. The preaching was decent. The music was good, although they lacked a drummer. (Ohhhhh, if only I lived closer to that church!) I'd go back.
Glebe Baptist
One morning when I was staying in the Glebe I didn't feel like driving very far so I decided to check out Glebe Baptist. It reminded me of my church in Sault Ste. Marie.  The old wooden pews, with red carpet was like my Sault church. The percentage of the pews filled up was about the same was the Sault church when I left. And, they had an old-school choir, just like my Sault church when I moved there. Besides the piano and organ, this choir was accompanied by a bass guitarist. I thought this to be odd. That's usually one of the last instruments to be added to a worship team. There's not a lot of bass guitarists out there. They even did a contemporary worship song. The preaching wasn't too bad, except the preacher kept saying how Christ died for us out of his love for, and devotion to us. I thought Christ died for us because of his love for, and devotion to his father. Perhaps that point is debatable? Anyway, A few people came up to me and introduced themselves to me, so I felt welcomed.
Chedarview Alliance
I'm writing this the day I went to Chedarview. Let me say, it was not a good morning. It all started on Saturday when I had a late lunch.  I skipped supper that night.  I intended on a breakfast at Tim Hortons on Sunday morning on the way to church.   I had picked the Tim Hortons closest to the church so I could stay and enjoy my breakfast sandwich. When I got to Tim Hortons, it was closed for renovations!  I was hungry, grumpy and not happy!   I drove around Farhaven looking for another Tim Hortons, and all I could find were gas station Tim Hortons.  I wanted to sit down and read a book.  I didn't want drive-thru! I decided to go to church hungry and get a big lunch afterwords. When I got to church, no one said "hi" or shook my hand - not even the guy handing out the bulletins. That was disappointing. The music was tight. But the preacher went on and on and on.  And on.  He was the freakin' Energizer Bunny. He just didn't stop. Even the best preachers start getting stale at 40 minutes.  This guy was far from the best. I expected he's preach for about 30 minutes.  After 45 minutes of preaching. I noticed people getting up and leaving. I would have left too except I wanted to know how long he intended to bore us. Was he planning on keeping us there until Jesus came back? It felt like it. After 50 minutes he finally closed in prayer. (My prayer was one of thankfulness.) The worship team cut their last set down to one verse of one song.  I won't be going back.

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