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I visited three churches last Sunday as promised in my previous blog post (click here to read). In that post, I noted that this is the time of year churches, with summer worship schedules, commence meeting on their fall/winter schedules.
St. John UMC's 50th Anniversary Homecoming celebration was a fun time with their gymnasium almost full of good-natured attendees who would have normally attended one of the 3 or 4 services this time of year. A time capsule from 25 years ago was opened and discussed. There was special music, readings, and an excellent message by Rev. Dave Beckett, the Alaska Superintendent of the United Methodist Conference. Beckett shared ways membership declines can be arrested, and true growth achieved through natural missional spirit. A large number of new members were also accepted into fellowship by Senior Pastor Peter Perry during the service. A potluck fellowship luncheon immediately followed the worship service.
I dropped in on Amazing Grace Lutheran Church and chatted briefly with Pastor Marty Dasler. The members were still being served a fellowship luncheon, and were seated in various rooms in various areas of their building. Pastor Marty discussed their last service where an Olympic theme was employed to make the Bible message stickier. I was warmly invited to join them for the luncheon, but had to make one other stop.
My last visit was to Trinity Presbyterian Church. Their members were also eating a post worship meal in various areas of the church. Associate Pastor Tammie Letts warmly greeted me as I entered and also invited me to join them for lunch, which I declined.
I visited these churches as each of them have exemplified the things I look for in my church visits and seem to be consistent in doing so. They offer warm greetings, Christian Hospitality, music for worship and not entertainment, and strong Bible-centered messages. Other churches offer some of these values too, but I love to occasionally drop in on consistent churches to bask in the warmth of true Christian values.
Thanks St. John, Amazing Grace, and Trinity for the hospitality offered last weekend.