The church for this Sunday meets in a school, just like church #16. Their service time is later than most, starting at eleven, likely to allow time for setup.
We arrive at the school and see a temporary church sign by the road, confirming we’re at the right place. However, once we park, there’s no indication of which door to enter. After making a wrong assumption, someone redirects us to the right entrance.
Inside is a team of greeters; they are most welcoming, taking time for conversation with us. People are milling about and many interact with us. Eventually someone announces, “We’re about ready to begin,” and we move to find our seats.
A couple we know invites us to sit with them. This is a welcoming gesture. Despite knowing people at the majority of the two dozen churches we’ve visited, having someone ask us to sit with them is a first. Though we’re used to sitting alone as we visit churches and don’t need this hospitable act to put us at ease, a typical visitor would likely find it most comforting.
After the service’s official conclusion, there’s time to hang out. We linger and talk. Eventually things are dismantled and stowed, returning the facility for use as a school on Monday. They’re fortunate to have a place to store their gear on site, eliminating the need to haul it away each week. Even so, there is much to do, and despite many hands helping, it takes some time to complete.
Though renting space requires extra effort on Sunday, they save the expense of a mortgage and hassle of building maintenance. This allows for more investment in community outreach and engagement.