And, so it begins.
After last week's farewell, we are now officially church-shoppers. (I say that, because that's the only term I know to use. We're not actually planning on purchasing a church. I suppose the other terms could be church-homeless, church-first-time-visitoring, or seeking a church-forever-family)
We don't expect to settle into a place right away, but are actually looking forward to the opportunity to see what many of the other churches in the area are doing (especially from a variety of traditions/denominations). I hope to write a little something from each of our visits. (I'm including a couple website pics here, to give you a feel for things)
In any case, this morning, the hubbo and I went to visit a new place of worship. Today, we went to a church called The Creek, a congregation that Hillside Covenant planted about ten years ago. We had been invited by friends, and it was nice to see familiar faces when we walked through the doors.
I appreciated that the greeters were friendly and helpful, but not obnoxious. When things got started, we climbed the stairs to enter the theater where the service is held (the church meets in a local high school). It was a cool location, though not necessarily conducive to a sense of community - you really can't see anyone you're worshipping with, besides whoever happens to be onstage.
I really liked the atmosphere - comfortable, friendly, respectful. The services (as well as their plans for the year) are obviously well thought-through, with many elements that create a meaningful whole. I knew about half of the worship songs (the ones I knew were mostly Crowder, yay!) and really enjoyed the drumming of the djembe player (I think he's from Ghana? ), but due to either poor acoustics or low participation I didn't hear anyone from the 'audience' singing.
The pastor was friendly and a good speaker, I thought. He talked a lot about "incarnation", that is, living out the mission of the church in our every day lives. Unfortunately, I missed part of the sermon due to a severe cough attack, when I ran out to get a cough drop and some tea. When I came back, the pastor had brought up a couple people to interview about how they live out their faith in their workplaces. He followed that up with a video clip, and a few applicable verses to keep in mind.
The whole service was very accessible, and really pointed towards identity (both personally and corporately) in Christ. Based on various announcements or reports sprinkled throughout the service, I trust that this is a church that is actively living out their beliefs, and are making a notable impact on their community.
I would definitely be interested in visiting again.
Next Sunday, we'll be driving all day on our way up to Portland, OR. Perhaps we can find a church with a Saturday evening service to visit before we leave. Any recommendations?