Church: Mount Moriah Church
Pastor: Pastor Jesse Holt (youth pastor)
Time Spent: 11am-1pm
Overall Impression: Seems fine
Type: No idea. This place could be any brand of Christianity for all I can tell in terms of denomination. I did however manage to scare up a few descriptors from the literature I was given:
The regular pastors have training from the Faith School of Theology and Zion Bible Institute and International Bible Institute and Seminary. The church beliefs are described by a series of bible quotes from the new testament I’m not going to run though. The service is described as Spirit-filled, with brief explanations of tongues, lifting hands, and falling under the power.
*Update* 10/6/13 This church has no denomination and considers itself independent, however it originally formed out of an apparent difference of opinion and subsequent splitting of an Assemblies of God congregation into two groups following the introduction of new church leadership.
Format: songs, invitation to prayer up front with laying of hands, extensive prayer to the internet viewer (yeah services are on the web via church website), announcements, black history month presentation, offering, youth speakers, sermon
Thoughts: Ok before I go on, what is the deal with the word ‘corporate’? I have never ever heard the word corporate used to describe anything that wasn’t an extensive business. But this year in my project I have heard it used at three different churches to describe group worship. What is the deal? Is this some kind of take-back-the-english-language movement I don’t know about? Anyone who can enlighten me, please leave a comment.
So back to the church. I arrived in the middle of something. It was 10:55am, I should have been on time. Turned out to be bible study in the worship space. Way to confuse me, but ok that’s fine. I was greeted EXACTLY THE RIGHT AMOUNT. Listen up and I’ll give you the formula. In order to greet someone (like me anyway) new exactly right, the greeters should give a 4-6 minute window between greetings. Each new person said hello to me about six minutes after the last one did. This let me relax between greetings and helped me remember the names better. Also it served to show me that each one didn’t just follow suit, but saw I was new and decided on their own to greet me. The greeting length is important too. The interaction was limited to saying hello, welcome, and one or two questions about me, after which I was left alone. This interaction showed that the person was interested in me, but wasn’t so clingy as to become creepy. This is the style of greeting I advise, based on me and what I like. Seems like it might work for others as well, but I can’t be 100% sure, as I’m not everyone else.
The rest of the service was good, if long. Another unusual Sunday I suppose. The regular pastor was not there and there were the youth speakers and the black history presentation. The congregation seemed boisterous, culturally mixed, noisy, and there were lots of kids around. Mentally, I had a big reaction to the youth speakers. It wasn’t anything they said in their short message. It just sometimes happens when I think about how neat it would have been to participate in church stuff meant only for youth when I was a youth myself. I get angry about it. Nothing much was available like that when I was younger. I felt different from others, but in church you are supposed to feel good about yourself and love everyone. That’s what I took from my religious upbringing- mainly love others. But most of those I went to school with came from exactly the same Catholic background I did. And so many of them seemed to not get the loving others part. I have no idea if youth activities with the church would have reflected the way it was in school or the getting along part. I feel like the discrepancy between the two has affected me even as an adult. But that won’t change just because I’m upset. So I suppose it makes me just hope that the experience for these kids and young adults in this church can be a really positive one such as I didn’t get.
The rest of the message was given by the youth pastor. It ran a little long but had a lot of really accessible ideas:
Integrity was a key point. A quote from R. Buckminster Fuller ,”Integrity is the essence of everything successful.” A quote from the pastor, “Integrity means taking responsibility for what God wants for you.” The idea of wholeness as one of the synonyms for integrity was touched as well. “One needs to be whole first before doing for others.”
It is a good idea not to wear yourself out. Integrity also means doing enough but not doing too much. I like it, it’s easy to understand and makes good sense.
Overall Feelings: Wish I could have stayed after service. I was basically starving for lunch and left in a hurry.