Church #14, First United Methodist Church

Date: 8/5/12

Church: First UMC Delmar

Pastor: preaching: Reverend Iona Dickinson

Time Spent: (oh I knew I forgot something, how long was I there?) 9:30-11am? I think?

Overall Impression: good, especially given that it’s a million degrees out and that makes me cranky

Type: United Methodist Church

Format: This church had no musical-chairs greeting time; I guess they might be nearing the size limit that would work for. The format had a lot of following along with group spoken parts, interspersed with single verses from the hymnal. This was only slightly confusing and I did pretty well once I realized the the format was actually wrapped around the bulletin full of other church announcements.

So, when I first walked in I thought maybe I made a mistake. The feel was so formal I thought maybe it was a different denomination. I’m used to a more relaxed feel in Methodist churches. It’s probably also related to the fact that I help a friend with youth events in Methodist churches and those are super relaxed. The First UMC building looked pretty and formal with stained glass windows and this stately organ music playing and people in kinda nice outfits. Well I went in and sat down. No one greeted me, but I came in almost exactly as the service started. And one woman smiled at me while I was giggling at the children’s time. The sermon was about being hungry for God and remembering to feed ourselves spiritually. One of the kids claimed he was hungry in his heart at lunchtime.

Anyway the format did have mostly components I recognized from other Methodist churches. And it was a communion week so I got some bread and juice. Methodists make no requirements on partaking in communion- zero. So you can always just show up and know that they’re cool with you eating with them.

After service one man near me immediately greeted me. I spoke with the pastor and was domino-cascade introduced to about five more people. I’m actually surprised I didn’t already know anyone as I tend to know Methodists here and there from the camp I used to be involved with. Everyone seemed pretty cool and open. And the pastor had a tiny little baby I got to hold. So this is my favorite church- or at least my favorite church baby.

Overall Feelings: Dressy formal looking, but still low-key. Everyone was happy to welcome me and low pressure to return. Just what I was hoping for from the now familiar Methodist church.

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