Thursday, April 23, 2015

Church #42. The Studio Church.

Another Sunday, another church. I actually almost didn't get to church, and when I did arrive, I was late. I contribute this to the L.R.T. line was shut down AGAIN. Thanks, City of Edmonton. Thanks. 

While taking my detour root, I got to thinking. A lot of people show up late. So much so that a lot of my numbers I publish in terms of the amount of people that attend the service is most likely off. The average church service will have 10-40% more people it at the end of the service vs. the beginning. I always take my numbers at the start. However there are some pastors out there that have found creative ways to deal with this late-coming issue. RIP Robin Williams. May the Lord rest your soul in your red nosed, clown shooed glory!!

While on my alternative transportation route, I found I was not the only person heading to this church. I ended up walking with a young fellow that told me he was from Belize. Having a lot of international friends, I know a pressing issue at the moment is visas, since the Harper government changed the law recently. He told me that he has been in Canada for 1 year and 7 months now. He said he would like to stay but he has no choice but to go home to Belize.

I was pretty excited to see the inside of this place #1. Because it is the Alberta Film Studios building. #2 What would a church look like set up inside such a place? I am happy to say I have many pictures! 

So besides all the pictures of old movie stars, this is what greets you when you enter the door. 

This is what the seating area for the service looks like. With a full set up for the worship team band drums, guitars and the whole nine yards. All made up of young people in their 20's. Ps. The triangles actually have nothing to do with the trinity. The designers just thought they looked cool. 

Like a lot of modern services, the practice has change from just taking one piece of scripture  and breaking it down, to taking a Concept and going thru the bible and understanding more about it! Examples of these concepts would be things such as Love, Forgiveness, Hope, Healing, etc. 

The pastor was a middle aged man with what I am assuming to be some kind of American accent?  Regardless guy had some great quotes. No shortage of entrainment here. 

"We do not need to get our brownie points in on Sunday to be forgiven. Jesus has done that for us."

"Put my vision in-front and I will give you everything else that is behind you."

 -he spoke of how we get so focused on our own live that we put gods vision on the back burner, and say we don't have time for it. He said don't be afraid to put god in-front, the rest of your life will still fallow, and  be just as good, if not better then you envisioned.

"You belong here with the same right to the name 'christian' as anyone!"

"He wants us to celebrate, dance, and shout!"
 * no the church did not get up and dance and shout, as awesome as that would have been.

Book of Ephesians 2:20-22.
This was one part of the scripture looked at today. 

there was a talk on how Christ may be the head of the church, but we are his body and all of us serve a function, down to the smallest, but equally vital need.  From the eyes and ears to the small toe.We can not have just Christ as the head.

"A body needs every part to function."
"No one is going to just walk around with a decapitated head!!" 
"Christ needs us to be the body!".  

"We are special, we are Dynamite! Every single one of us!"  
This one is for you Aunty. 
"They are to train us to do Christs work!"

 - It was explained to us that walking in the way of Christ  and glorifying god on earth is not just for the pastor. Simply put, it is not a one man job. The actually function of a church leader is to train his congregation on how to continue acting to complete Christ's vision of a better world here on earth.

"god wants us to gown to know the whole truth in love!" 

"Our hatred of god has been forgiven!" 

"If we keep to ourselves lives will not be changed."

"Some people don't wanna take action."

List of reasons why people don't want to take action. 

1#. They are too afraid.
2#. they feel insignificant
3#. They feel they are not qualified. 
4#. They are afraid of interacting with peoples lives. 
5#. They don't think they are really able to change someones life. 

The pastor made it clear that theses are not real excuses and very easy to surpass and overcome. I believe this is a matter of stop looking at the problem, and start looking at the solution. Another one of my favorite Robin Williams scenes.

Allow me to testify my experience. 

I am a woman of may gifts. However most of them have no value towards sustaining employ-ability. So I do them for fun. And a lot of that is sewing fun, funky, and odd clothing for myself. 70% of those clothes I make myself  I decide against keeping. To recoup my costs, I sell of the bulk of them at a local shop. I figure that if I don't love it, there is still likely someone else out there that will.  

My products sell, but I have rarely met or heard from anyone who has bought them. Until a month ago. Everything changed.

I  received a phone call from a lady who had quite the story for me. She was walking down 124st, and something intrigued her mind to enter one of the little shops she passed. She was looking for clothes. Which was not as much of a fun and casual experience as it sounds. This lady in her 50's had undergone some extensive surgery, and had just recovered. However, some of you may know, some of the the effects of surgery, and staying in a bed of an extended period of time, is weight gain. And worse so,  this weight normally shows up in unusual parts of the body. So you can only Imagine this woman's dismay, to finally get out of the operation, recover, get home, only to find out that NONE of her wardrobe fits anymore. Ouch. If that doesn't put a damper on your spirit, I don't know what will. 

So when I get this call form this woman, she is overwhelmed with joy. She explains to me that my dresses (which I personally consider my sewing room rejects) , have made her so happy! Because for the first time since her surgery, she has clothes that finally fit her! Not only that, she describes how she has never had garments that fit her so well, and the fun colours and designs, remind her of child hood years in the 1960's/1970's. She pretty much told me that I lifted her depression, and she wants me to make her more! LOL. She also mentioned that her daughter, who has a nutritiously snooty fashon sense, might actually approve of these garments. I wont argue, in my mind this is all a Win Win. 

Your not as useless as you think. Trust me. 

Ps. this is also a church were you can give your offering via debit machine.

"lets have a SUPERNATURAL week! " 

And post-service right behind you you will find this lovely cafe set-up.
Over to your left hand side you will find Chef and his creation of the day. $7 a piece for these sandwiches. Pricy, yes, worth it? TOTALLY!!!! even on my budget the smell alone sold me. That was a piece of GODS LOVE ON A BUN!  Hats off to you Chef!
There were a verity of different seating options. Including a large array of leather sofas?
And if you prefer an actual table they have those too. I highly enjoyed the fresh tulips adorning them.
But in-total this place just works real hard to make everyone comfy. there is a little bit of everything here. Including a hipster hang out corner. I kid you not. They even have a plaque.
Ad for the musically creative types there is also a piano at the disposal of anyone who wishes to play it. 

Plus a old style free standing popcorn machine, and deer antlers, and Christmas lights just every other odd thing you could imagine! Just a really cool environment!

I hoped to have a word with the actual pastor however he was a busy man, so I ended up taking with one of there pastors-in-training. A charming 20 year old man named Rock. No that is not a typo. That is actually the guys name.

Since I had the opportunity I thought I would ask him a very specific question. Men, especially of his general age group and noticeably absent when it comes to church. So I asked him what his thoughts were on why this is ?

In the end there was 4 clear points we determined.

1#. Men have a lot of pride. 
-I personally think this to be true. 

2#. Men think they can figure it out on their own.
- All i can visualize right now is the guy assembling something, and throwing the instruction manual in the garbage, only to have a BBQ that falls to shambles after he opens the lid for the fist time.  

3# Content is not relevant. 
-I can strongly agree with this.I have seen first hand that There is little to no relative content in most church services for young people. Rock tells me that he believes that this can be answered by having separate "Youth church" services that are tailored to the needs and understanding of teens/20somethings.

4# Don't want to look weak.
 As Rock stated "Christianity is a religion of surrender" Which sounds less then appealing to a lot of men. As far as I can perceive, the big thing they are missing is that when you surrender to God, he in tern, puts the world in your hands. The few young christian men I know and They are some of the most free and powerful people I know! They tend to be optimistic, confident, emotionally confident and over all empowered to do anything and everything they want, and live life to the fullest!

Who Wouldn't want that? Common now!

The best thing I like abou this place is that it is a "No guilt kind of Church" environment. I had an old boss who once told me that he had a very pour view of church. He spent his youth attend a Catholic church where the priest spent an excessive amount of time warning people about all of the thing that they would be sent to hell for. The bright side of this story is that now latter in his adult years, he has casually attended some modern services, of no defined denomination, He told me that he now sees thing in a different light and is now slowly being drawn back.

This a great church, approx 50 people at this service. This place is like a spice wrack, there is literately a little bit of everything here, all with its own unique flavor. I highly recommend this place, good for young people, old people, families, people cultural diversity. Love this place! Highly recommended! main service is at 10:30 am on Sundays.

5305 Allard Way NW, Edmonton, AB T6H 5X8
Phone: (780) 777-7778)  

Monday, April 13, 2015

Church #41. Jasper Place Baptist Church. Easter Sunday 2015.

All I have to say is, thank the Lord that this one went better then last year! Much better actually.

From past experiences I have discovered that on certain Christian holidays that people will drop their typical greetings for something more appropriate to the occasion. Today instead of saying "Good Morning", the greeting was " He is Risen!".

There were a few familiar things I recognized. The drape of white fabric laying on the cross, and an extensive decoration all around the room made with brightly coloured spring flowers. I am gonna be honest, the first half of the service was like having church in a kindergarten class. SO MANY KIDS!!! Thankfully they were smart enough to give the coloring pages to keep them busy until they were dismissed for their Sunday school.

The prayer requests this morning were definitely interesting. One of them Involved the announcement of  a new mandarin speaking church that is being built in the far north end of the city. It had become noticeable to the Chinese community in the city, that there is little to no options for mandarin speaking people to attend church in their language. Edmonton has many people of Chinese heritage but almost all of the well established ones are Cantonese speaking, especially that of the older generation. Therefore, three Chinese churches in the city are working together to make this new church happen. (Ps. They still don't have a pastor, so if you know a pastor that speaks mandarin, let them know!)

Another prayer of for something a bit more concerning to my heart. there was about 50-75 people in the room including the kids, and it was asked that we all say a prayer for the 4 men that have lost their jobs (now down to 3). Most of which I can only guess are fathers with young kids. Having a Dad that has lost his job seams somewhat meaningless to a child cause you are just so far in your own happy bubble, that you are just dam clueless to the world around you. However after that child grows up, and realizes the weight of the world and looks back on what what happened to their parent, lets just say it is just short of heart wrenching. Been there, done that unfortunately.

there was a very cool video clip shown.  The pastor was nice enough to share it with me for my bog, thanks again! :)
The singing and the worship was something to be desired. I am sure if I was still 7 years old I would have enjoyed it. But lets be real. Its me. The voices in the room were ether not willing or able to to put out for most of it, the singers on stage did not add much ( or maybe the mic were not working). The songs were poorly chosen from what must have been a children CD and awkward to sing along to. And all this was being lead by a lady that had a personality and voice that likely resembled my kindergarten teacher. If i could even remember my kindergarten teacher.... gag me with a spoon. 

The kids also went up to the church and did a little "song with actions" thing. The song had to do with telling the people that Christ is risen and he is alive. All along with some James Bond background music and some robotic dance moves. I know sometimes people put in the extra effort to make something cool and modern, and then there are times when you just get weird messed up stuff. 

Yep... this sums it up well I think. 

The actual sermon however was much different.
The pastor noted something that has been mentioned a lot lately. Easter is underrated too much. Especially by Christians.  I agree with his statement that it should be one of the most, if not the most important holiday we have. He made a very good point when he said out, that we will set aside our entire regular routine for an entire month, in preparation for Christmas. But we will maybe take a day to prep for Easter. 

"Somehow eggs and bunnies ended up in the mix, I don't know!"

I have been looking into traveling lately  and i read an article called "46 Reasons You Should Never Leave Amsterdam". And i noticed a quote that says "one of the best parts about Amsterdam is that it knows what it is."  I am happy to report this was also true of this church service. This pastor knew what he was dealing with. Easter Sunday service. Not only a religiously significant day, but also one of those days in which non-believers are forced and obligated to come to church by grandma. You know me. I tell it like it is. So as far as my impression goes, the pastor took this opportunity to make believers out of the critics, skeptics and agnostics. Good luck.

First he took some time to explain some of the significance of Christs actions. He point to the fact that Christ was the king that died for us. Which is not that big until you put it in perspective. Back in the day when the kingdom was in danger the king was the last person to risk his life. All of his people would go before him and risk death to protect the king. Because if the king dies in battle, instantly everything is lost. Check-mate and game over for everything. So the idea that Christ was a king that would go out to battle alone, and willingly die, to save the lives of all his subjects was just short of revolutionary. BEST KING EVER! 

Another subject was Christ army of angles. Apparently it is written in the bible somewhere that Christ had legions upon legions of angles ready at his command to same him from his suffering. He had every opportunity to get out of his humiliation, torture and slow and brutal death. But he took all of it for days on end because his only thought was that he needed to see this thru for all of us. 

Since Jesus rose from his tomb his followers were feeling the heat. The empire was freaking out because there were rumors that this guy rose from the dead. But the only way to prove he is still dead is with his body. Body is currently missing from the tomb. Who are you gonna blame first? How about his 12 actually 11 disciples. Thanks a lot Judas. So Christ now in his risen state appears to the disciples and speaks to them. But Thomas is not in the room. So the disciples run to go tell him what happened. And in true Thomas style, he give them the old "I'll believe it when I see it!!!" He even went on to say that he will only believe them if Christ himself comes to him and allows him to put his finger thru the wound that priced a hole directly thru the center of his hand. 

Ps. They don't call this guy "Doubting Thomas" for nothing. 

Needless to say when Christ appeared to him 8 days latter and  was like; check out my hand, not to mention my side where the spear got me! Thomas was eating his words and apologizing profusely. 

He noted the fact that Christians are often mocked and criticized that they believe in fairy tails and nonsense. His argument is that Christ did very much so exist, not only in the bible but also in historical documents outside the bible. He references letters sent by a Turkish governor to Roam discussing Jesus. There was a Greek philosopher called Josephus who spoke of him. And the Jewish Talmud calls him a sorcerer. But the point is that he is in there. 

Despite the fact that I have many non-christian friends in my life, most of them agree with me that Christ was a real person and did exist. We don't agree on much else. But his existence is so well documented it is impossible to deny.  Even my friend that as recently given up on Christianity and become a raging agnostic has said to me; "Jesus did exist. I will give you that. To deny that, you pretty much have to be an idiot."

The most interesting thing that I learned this day was all around one word. "Finished". As some of you may know, In his last hour before death Christ's last words were "It is finished!" Which seams like a pretty obvious and final statement considering everything that has just happened to the guy. But there is something here us English speakers are missing. This part of the bible was originally written in Greek. In English we have three lingual tenses we use; past present, future. ex. ride, riding, ridden. The Greeks are a lot fancier then us. They have not 3 not 4 not 5 but EIGHT different tenses used in their language. The tense used on the word "Finished" is a perfect tense. Meaning that that word was acted in the now, but also carries on with eternal consequences. His blood washed clean all the people that are here now, are now past, and are yet to be born. Everyone is covered. Finished. Forever. 

"Believe and confess Jesus to be the savior and you are saved!" 

However by the end I was really starting to fell sorry for this pastor. He repeatedly said "I need you to believe!" But The sad part is that I even felt detracted from believing at this moment. In-fact I can say I have not believed so little in a long time. It was like watching baseball with the batter giving 110% to hit the ball and just missing it. Over and over and over. Just brutal. 

Not only that , I was actually kind of worried for him. There was this one guy in the crowd who I could tell was likely not a regular church goer, or believer in God. And it was clear to see he was pissed. You could just tell that everything the pastor was saying was just getting this guy more and more irked.  You could just see the look on this guys face and he looked like he wanted to go up there and punch out the pastor. Thankfully it did not come to that. 

Right after that the service ended and I was packing up. Then, a woman in her forty's who was in a seating area to my right, had suddenly moved to the front of the room wile I was not looking, I had examined this lady earlier. She appeared to have friends and family with her, she was wearing a wedding ring and dressed very nicely. I would maybe not have taken so much note of her if was not for her obvious medical condition.

I am no doctor but if I had to make a guess I would say this is Warts, but not just a few. Every free inch of her skin was almost covered in warts. Face, Hands, Arms just everything! This poor lady looked like she could have been painted into one of the pictures of Christ healing some one with some plaguing disease. I know what it is like to have warts. They are not fun. You also feel some what helpless to them, because there is little you can do to  fight them sometimes. But the worst part is they make you feel ugly. This is not an ugly that make-up and hair dye can fix. You feel ugly in you heart and soul. You know you have them growing on you, you know people are going to ask, and it feels impossible to get away. It can be brutal. I still have the scar from when they had to surgically remove mine. My left elbow has never been the same since. 

And yet now before me, at the front of the room, I see this lady, knelt down on the steps at the front of the alter with her head down. I did not get close enough to tell but I suspect that she was sobbing.  The rest of the room packed up and moved on, but she stayed there.  Another lady came and sat beside her to show support, and giver her comfort. This in my mind is an example of a person that needs God. That being said, we all need God. But this lady clearly needs him. Not for the purpose of handing out some miracle cure to fix her skin condition. I am sure that would be great, but that's not what I am taking about here. I don't know what she was praying for but I suspect it might be that she is seeking gods, love. The kind of love that can help her deal with all the weird looks she gets when she is out grocery shopping. The kind of love that can help her hold her head high,  and prevent her from feeling inferior to the other ladies sitting beside her on the buss. The kind of love that will make the people around her act with kindness and compassion. Or maybe she just wants to be able to wake up in the morning and feel beautiful knowing that regardless of her skin, that she is loved unconditionally.  God is good at that. 


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Church #40. St. Joachim Cathloic Church. Palm Sunday 2015.

This is a church I have know about for a while. Even from the outside, I could tell that  it must have a beautiful interior. It was conveniently located off the LRT line, and does not require you to be there for 8 am. It is technically just out the front door of my friends apartment. So you may be asking, why I have not featured this church sooner? One reason. All the sermons that are done at this church, including the Sunday one, are entirely spoken in French.

No English.

I went to church and didn't understand a word.

But that doesn't mean I didn't learn anything.

It only took a few steps in, to realize my suspicions were right, this place is amazing!
I am sure it must be comparable to the churches in Europe to some degree. It was just phenomenal!
And of coarse me being the absent minded person I am, forgot that today was Palm Sunday.

So not only have I never been to a palm Sunday service, I have no idea what it means. So after I went home a Googled it.Thinking back on this, I do remember reading about this in the book of Mark when I was in bible study.I am not normally one to go for referencing wiki, but I think they give a fairly detailed and interesting explanation as to what happened to Christ on palm Sunday, and how it is now celebrated. Enjoy. 

I can also tell you that I was not the only one there that did not speak french. That was apparent to me when I approached the basket of palm ferns that were take-by-donation. I could hear the little old ladies behind me asking each-other "What do we do?". I also noticed my share of people, that were also just kind of "going with it", and likely not understanding what was being said. 

Some of you are probably wondering why I would go to a church where my language is not spoken? There is a few reasons. 

#1. I wanted to get an understanding of what it might be like to be an invaded people having a new language and religion forced on them. I wanted to know what it is like to sit in a very strict and complex church service and not understand a word. Would one find any spiritual value in such a disconnected environment?

#2. I also wanted to draw attention to the fact that there are many people in this world that are forced to learn another language to know the salvation of Christ. There are thousands of dialects in the world but only a very small percentage of them have a bible in their language. Printers and translators have much more motivation to produce a bible in a language that 100,000 people speak vs, 5000. My old bible study leader, actually has a grandfather that has devoted his life to translating the bible into different languages. His ultimate goal is that all people, may one day be able read the word of God in their own tong. If you feel the need to support this cause, this is a link to at least one group that it working on it. 

#3. Some of you my be surprised to know this, but the third and final reason I took this on was to get a better understanding of what it must have been like to be my mother when she was a child and going to church. And yes, you guessed right, my mother spent years in a church with services that were not in English. Sadly I think she understood just as much from them as I did on palm Sunday here.Not much at all.

 "Allez tout droit! Puis prennez à gauche!"

 I am so lost.... 

Any who...

So this place still had a few surprises. It was pretty full, but not to the brim, about 100-125 people by my count. Most people came dressed  for the event, many ladies in nice dresses and some old men in tuxedos. What took me by surprise was that a noticeable percentage of this churches attendants were African Canadian. Including the priest. Who was a large built man with a round face, and a jolly personality wearing decorated red and white robes. This man stood before the church and delivered a fantastic service in full francophone French.

The service began at the back of the church this time. The priest first blessed the remainder of the basket of palm leaves with holly water and said a verity of prayers. Then he and his clergymen walked in procession up the isle, splattering and blessing the crowd as they went. I enjoyed the experience despite the fact that it forces me to take off my glasses to remove the water drops. I find it to be very personal, to me that kind of experience makes me feel like I am blessed.

There were children at this service, counted roughly 18 heads, all very well done up in their Sunday best. And mostly of African Canadian ethnicity. It is apparent by the look on the Priest's face, that he is a man with a soft spot for children. But of coarse kids never really stop being kids. And as one can image, being 6 years old, being told to sit threw a catholic church service and being given a long pointy palm furn, swatting fights between siblings were inevitable. Thank God my mother didn't take me and my younger siblings to something like this when we were young.  Between the three of us it would have been pure mayhem!

One of the nice parts of this is that it gave a lot of time for personal reflection and prayer. You got a lot more time to actually meditate and reflect vs trying to keep up with the service.

 There was another interesting character I noticed. There was a man likely in his 50's  and sitting in a back pew, all by his lonesome. Amongst all the well dressed attendants, this guy looked like he just cleaned the twigs out of his hair, and the wood chips off his jacket, and wondered into town for church. Or off the Game of Throne's film set.One or the other.  He was a thinner man with a rough thick salt and pepper beard, hair was the same way but grown long and tied back into a ponytail. His jacket was oil skin hide with edges of fluffy shapera sticking out where the thick slabs of leather were stitched together. He wore blue jeans and light colour pointed cowboy boots stained by the salt in the melting snow. I watched him sit there in his relaxed and attentive silence. I can only imagine that this must being back some kind of memories for him, maybe that of his childhood? despite not getting a full view of his face at any point in the service, you could tell this was special to him. I am sure that until the end of my days never fail to be amazed at the people that the Lord calls.
When I walked into church today I made the decision that I was not taking communion. Nope. Not after what happened at the last Catholic church. Also considering the fact that I am in an environment that doesn't speak my language, It was far to risky. Yet when the time came, I didn't really have an option. At this service every pew stood up and went up to the front, in an almost assembly line type fashion. When my pew stood up, I was closest to the isle. The train was moving and I was going with it, weather I liked it or not! I managed to receive my rice cracker and white wine without issue. I found Pino Grigio to be an interesting choice for the wine. Not what I expected.

Communion was not the only awkward close call I had. There was also that part of the service where you are supposed to get up and shake hands and greet everyone. People were talking to me in full blown french and I just did the nod and smile. That and there was a moment after the service when I was taking photos, and a little girl run up to me and ask me something in french, I just stood there for a moment, and then she ran off to ask someone else.
Speaking of photos.

While I was standing across the road, taking this picture on the front steps of my friends apartment building, I looked down and noticed something. 

Good old tulips. Never fail.
Have a  Blessed Palm Sunday Everyone!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Church #39. First Baptist Church.

Before we go any further, I need to say this. When I see any church with the word "First" in the name, this immediately comes to mind.

There was no wedding ceremony happening at the First Baptist Church today, but it was still very beautiful inside.

Love the banner epically, I had to spend some time looking at it before my mind could comprehend it. I was told it was originally designed by a famous artist, and took a very committed team of ladies to put it together. I really love the glow it puts on the glass sky scrapers. Because it reminds me of something that came up in the news a while back. See the link below!

"Mary in The Glass". Clearwater, Florida, USA.

Population of this church 100-ish? Mix of seniors and families.  And for the record there are kids here. Lots of them. When they called them for their separate Sunday school lesson, there was about 30 of them that left the room. Maybe I could not see fully being so far back, but it looked like there was few really "little ones". Everyone by my guess looks 5 years of age and older.

Bells rang and the service started, the choir poured the sound of worship over the church like an avalanche. Literately. I have never encountered a choir that starts their performance on the high balcony at the back of the church, and then progresses to the lower floor, and towards the front of the church. When the performance started it really took me back, I had to stop and think for a moment, after turning around in my pew did I see where all this sound was coming from.

And yet Another surprise! The regular pastor who was supposed to be leading the service had fallen seriously ill and was in hospital. We were told that he is now doing better and "might be eating Jello" at the moment, but we can't be sure. The pastor taking his place said the he had noted that  he was asked to sing "2 Lionel Richie Songs." But that was not going to happen. Amongst the announcements there was also a notice advertizing baptism preparation and ceremony for anyone who feels that they might be are ready. The pastor proclaimed that "There will be water in the tank!"  and that "we would love to get you in the tank!". It was also mentioned that Easter Sunday is a great day to be baptized!

I am going to admit to this right now. I got down very little note on this service just because I didn't want to get distracted and miss any of it. It was literately that good. If I had to put words to it I would describe it as, clear, comprehensive, relateable, honest, and with a slights sense of humor. I give it 5 church pews out of 5.  You guys rock!

The topic was on the last supper, and Christ doing the lowly task of washing his fellow disciples feet before dinner. They insisted that this task is far below his status as such a respected Rabi and nearly degrading in their view. Each disciple had a different reaction to him as he preformed this task, many objected to what he was doing. The speaker touched on a few of them. After he was done  Christ said "What I am doing right now you will not understand, but you will understand latter."I think god does a whole lot of this in our lives. Often it takes time for things to come full circle for us to realize what value, or lesson we were taught us in the past, and how God has used that to shape our future. The pastor also requested that a few volunteers come to the front of the church and stand bear-foot, as he taught his lesson and finished with prayer.  Personalty I find this very interesting. I have many people argue with me that there is no prof of solid fact in the bible and it is just a big story book with everything made up. But honestly the more I read it, the more I find these people hard to believe. The fineness of some of the detail, and not always nice detail, really surprises me sometimes. Some of such detail reflects the personalities, attitudes and  idiosyncrasies of each disciple.  I hope to study more on the individual personalities of each disciple latter and write on it. As a trained journalist, I don't feel this was made up.

One of my favorite quotes of the day has to be "our God is an Awkward God." Which as by today's sermon we can see is true, and noticeably prevalent in the rest of my bible readings. He gets his followers to do some really odd and uncomfortable things some days, but it all has purpose. If you don't believe me check this one out! ( Why did Isaiah the prophet preach naked?)  And if you know me, you know that I am terribly awkward. And somewhat socially inept. It makes my life rough some days, trust me. But I believe like Gods actions it all has purpose. In-fact it might be my greatest strength in this whole project. Most people could never emotionally or socially handle doing this project. Me I walk though this like Christ walks on water. I don't even need to ask questions, I just go. Not saying I am all that special or nothing. But I am sure this is all part of the plan. Another favorite quote of mine.

"We are cleansed and cleaned for beautiful work."
"All the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our god." 
" You can not take a persons foot into your hands without getting really close to them!"

After the service I was able to ask about this "Tank" cause I had no idea where it was. It was actually right in-front of my nose the whole time. See where the hands are? There a tank in there!

Besides the two entrances, this tank also features a water heater control and  a "Fill Line", which was hand drawn in pen, on the inside of the tank.

And the orgaist, let me just say this guy must be a fan of old horror/drama  or maybe action films? because his playing definitely reflects it. If anyone in the future is directing  the next Batman movie and  needs an organist for the musical number, I recommend this guy.

 Over all great church! Just a truly enjoyable environment. So next time you drive by, I suggest you stop in!