But don't be fooled this is a FAMILY CHURCH of all ethic backgrounds. Like parents and kids everywhere. The last time I was in a room with that much noise, and little humans running around was elementary school. But it has a very "family together for the holidays kind of feel". I can see how this would be very warming to anyone that may be far from their family or no longer have any family. I also noticed a lot of unusual social pairings. Father and son, mother and teenage daughter and single men. Not always common occurrences.
As the worship started, I noticed in that in the song's chorus line sang, "We don't want blessings! We want you Lord!" Which I found interesting. I first got notice of the pastor as she stood at the front Left side of the room with too little girls standing to her side. I was not fully paying attention, maybe the song said the word "strong"? because suddenly she looked at them and did what I call "the muscles" and they responded by doing the same. It was supper cute.
I noticed one fellow in the back that I suspect to be residentialy challenged. He was just having a ball. Singing and moving in all god's glory. It seamed that every time I turned around to look behind me something more interesting was happening. The next time I turned around I saw a guy licking off his knife.....I turned around slowly, and attempted to re-direct my attention to the service. YIKES!
Personally I think the pastor might have over reacted. If the guy just got up, said he was fine and kept snow blowing I would have probably done the same. If he looks fine, and tells me he is fine, and can still continue down the street running a large gas powered snow throwing machine without trouble. I'm not gonna argue with the guy.
Then it was announced that If anyone needed praying for. A line of people assemble at the front of the room, men, woman, children etc. All facing the congregation and holding hands. Then, there was a second row people that lined behind this row of people, and laid hands on the people in-front of them. Prayer began. There was much tears.
Surprisingly that included the men. And even more surprisingly was watching a family with a mom dad and 7 year old son all coming to tears. The fact that this farther had the guts to shed tears in front of not just the whole church but his son was simply inspiring to me. And by that example, his son felt safe to do the same. I personally felt that kind of action showed not only pure honesty, but an extreme amount of guts. I also feel that this man is setting up his son, to move away from the phenomenon of emotionally detached men. Which has become a social norm in the male population, that generates all kinds of problems in relationships that can cause arguments, divorce and domestic disputes.
There was also a Birthday Blessing said.
Valentines day was approaching so I guess they decided to celebrate early. All the little children were given chocolate hearts to hand out to everyone else in the church. It was cute. And tasty.
Sometime latter The pastor mentioned another personal story about a friends baby that was not born well. At one point she visits the hospital and the baby is not doing well. OK, what was an understatement this baby was dieing. I my not know much about them, but from what my mother tells me is that babies are very resilient. But if they go down hill, they go fast. Despite all the medical staffs efforts, things are not getting better. At one point the nurse turn to the pastor and asked her to do whatever she could cause the baby was going. The pastor started praying and apparently speaking in tongs. And after that the baby slowly stabilized and eventually recovered.
As some of you might have noticed I have skipped the entire sermon with the scripture lesson. I'm gonna be honest. The lesson given today was likely not her best performance and there were some statements made that would ignight my pen into a verity of long and complicated rants on how I do not agree with them. I am normally not one to hold my tong, but like my mama says "if you dont got anything nice to say dont say anything at all." OK Mom, you win this time.
After the service I had some time to speek with the pastor. We talked about the homeless people that would sit at the back entry way, listen to the service and wave at her. They would say they don't feel comfortable entering the body of the church, because they might spontaneously combust or something.
She mentioned to me that one of her greatest challenges would have to be dealing with the ups and downs of their members. Some members of the church that are homeless/troubled will make a lot of improvements in their lives, only to fall right back to their old ways in moments of weakness. The pastor expressed that this kind of situation made her feel confused and distressed on how God some how let these people fall. She mentioned the best action they can take in this situation is to simply love theses people regardless of how much they rise or fall.
One thing that I observed about the pastor is that she seams to become confused or distraught when prayer doesn't work or despite having faith, things go bad. It can be difficult when despite all the praying and walking in Christ that life can still come up behind you and push you into the mud. Personally, I deal with this with two thoughts. #1. God maybe king in heaven, but Lucifer is prince on earth. We are living in the devils territory. Despite our best efforts, it ain't all gonna be sunshine and roses. #2. When you ask god for something you are gonna get one of three answers. Yes, No, or Not Right Now. That's what my bible study teacher said anyhow. I believe him.
By the way... random fact. If you are looking to conceive this is the church to be at. Apparently since taking over the childless congregation many years ago, the large majority of the women have become pregnant. Hence the swarm of Rug-rats running around the church. Speaking of belly's ready to pop, apparently there was a lady who had her water break right in the middle of the service, and had to leave for the hospital.But over all very baby/child friendly church, with mothers room, change tables, etc.
She took us up to her office and we got to take a look at some of the beautiful gifts she had give by the community and church members.
She showed me her little balcony that loverlooks the park, she calls it "her pope walk". Often enough there are fights amoungst the homeless people that break out there, and she will go to her balcony and yell at them to stop. Immediately they will stop and yell back "Sorry Pastor Debbie!" Then she goes back to work.
She also has found way to manage theses people at her services. She dosen't mind them blurting out at times but one thing she dose not stand for is swearing. At that point she turns on the mom tone and threatens to wash their mouth out with soap, and they laugh it off and calm down.
One thing that she said surprise her, is how they have been safe from vandalism . Despite being in a very rough area with a lot of damage to surrounding buildings, they have gone years without troubles. She was highly concerned that this might be a problem when taking over the church and even took the measure to have everyone walk around the church and pray for its protection.
Over all a good church, but I'm just not feeling it when it comes to the doctrine.
Until next time my friends.