Since being featured in the Edmonton Journal, I have received a verity of invites from friends, family, and total strangers to come visit their churches. One of those people, was my friend Charles. The comical, swanky, cane-strutting fellow that believes that purple is the only colour a person really needs in their wardrobe.
Normally I have to plot out my travels on public transit, but I was lucky enough to get a free ride today, courtesy of Charles's sister. I took my spot in the back seat of the car, and my friend turns to me and says "So are we the first church to bribe you with food?!". For the record yes, yes you are. He suggeststed that I come this particular Sunday, because it was soup and sandwich day. After picking up another friend and winding out way around the city, we finally ended up at McLure United church on the north end of the city.
I was fairly typical of what I have seen of most United churches. This one is definitely a seniors club. And well attended too. My rough count is about 150-200 seniors ( however this is not likely the norm as the pastor did note that this was larger then normal.) there were maybe half a dozen kids their with their parents, but beyond that this place is 65+ zone.
Ps. And for my dearest mother who can't stand the idea of sitting on anything hard, I am happy to report that they have a large supply of "Butt Pillows" for anyone who needs.
Before the service started we had plenty of time to hang out and chat, while listening to the choir do their warm-ups. Including this song, which I was so tempted to do the action to considering they were drilled into me from 6 years of attending/working at bible camp.
If you dont know Charles, I can tell you atleats one defined thing about him, he is a funny man. Alow me to share some of his humors that he threw out while we were wating for the service to start;
"I had Jesus in my Sole once.....BEST FISH AND CHIPS EVER!!!!!!!"
Q: " If you had the opportunity to ask Christ just one question, what would you say?"
A: " Is it just Wine? or do you do other drinks too?"
The service started with a young girl that was asked to go up and light the Christ candle. The service was mostly composed of the choir singing, however there was also "Children's time". The pastor sat on the front steps of the stage and asked all the children to come up ( all 5 of them) including one little boy that decided that he would take his time making his way to the front. The pastor asked the children what they thought of the singing today? All of them politely nodded and smiled, and said it was good. With the exception of the little boy that gave the choir a big "thumbs down". Everyone got a laugh out of that one. Then he was attempting to engage the children in the lesson and asked them what their favorite singers were. They he shared with them that he has a favorite song that he loves to crank up in his car and sing while going down the high-way. He asked them if any of them could guess what that song is? And the little boy piped up and said "THE MONSTER MASH!!!??"
I dont remember the song exactly, but I dont remember at one point the choir sang "I know you are thirsty and will not be denied!" The phrase rang a bell with me,because I have a shirt with a Bible passage on it that is very similar. I had just packed this shirt actually, I intend to bring it to my NYC program, largely because It is the shirt from my first mission trip I did when I was 14 years old.
Foundation For His Ministry Baja Location.
There was a lot of music going on that day, but I must say I learned something really cool about and extremely common and popular Christian Hymns. There once was a British fellow back in the 1700's that ran a slave ship and was one of the most harsh and inhumane people on the high seas. He was almost killed in a storm that threatened to sink his ship. He broke down and called to God for mercy and was saved. After that he became a pastor and wrote a little song that we all know as Amazing Grace.
Jesus Anointed by a Sinful Woman
There was not a lot that stood out about this place, but the cross defiantly got my attention. I know they are trying to make the suffering and resurrection of Christ realistic, but this cross almost startled me. I put my hand into the photo for sake of comparison.
"He is not here for he has Risen!"