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Visiting Churches

Liturgy, Greeting with a Holy Kiss, and the Holy Spirit

Experiencing a Holy Awe of God I awake both excited and unsettled. I’m excited at the prospect of returning to Church #28 (“Intriguing and Liturgical”). There’s much for me to learn from their mystical worship of God, from their rituals steeped in meaning that I don’t yet comprehend. However, I’m also unsettled having awakened with […]

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Visiting Churches

Experiencing Spiritual Community

A Holiday Weekend, Light Attendance, and a Great Time I volunteer twice a month at our local food pantry. Staffed with people from area churches and service organizations, we serve those in need in our community. One Saturday, between clients, I have an opportunity to talk with a man who attends Church #2. I ask […]

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Christian Living

Familiarity Breeds Complacency

May We Never Become Indifferent toward Our Spiritual Practices and Faith Consider the adage that familiarity breeds contempt. While I hope that our familiarity with God will never breed contempt toward our Creator and Savior, I do wonder if our familiarity breeds complacency, that is a smug indifference or even apathy toward our faith. Recall […]

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Visiting Churches

The Church with Good Music

Waiting for the Service to Start I volunteer at a budget program where I teach classes and encourage people to manage their finances, unlearn bad money-handling habits, and dig out of debt. It’s a biblically based program, and it meets at a local church, which is also today’s destination. In the brief time I’ve been […]

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Visiting Churches

Church #61: The Wrong Time to Visit 

Based solely on their name, I assume this church is of the same denomination as Church #19. I enjoyed my time at that church, but I also recall their pastor saying the denomination’s member churches vary widely in their beliefs, with most holding a liberal theology. I wonder what I’ll encounter at today’s destination.  It […]

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Visiting Churches

Church #59: Big, Yet Compelling 

One of the area’s megachurches has intrigued me for years. At one time I was a regular podcast consumer of their weekly messages, which usually featured their founding pastor. A gifted communicator, he conveyed truth with a fresh voice and looked at spirituality from new vantage points. His perspectives moved me toward the spiritual more […]

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Visiting Churches

Not Welcoming: Discussion Question on Church #58

The website of this large church boasts that we’ll find “a warm and friendly group of people.” If you must claim you’re friendly, you might not be; they might be not welcoming. Experience tells me they may try but will fall short.  Consider these seven discussion questions about Church 58. 1. Always anxious before visiting […]

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Visiting Churches

Church #58: Not So Friendly

Today, we head to one of the area’s larger churches. In the past, they had a visible presence, but I’ve not heard much about them recently. Their website boasts that we’ll find “a warm and friendly group of people.” I bristle. It’s like telling someone you’re humble or you’re honest: if you have to say […]

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Visiting Churches

Discussion Questions for Church 56: A New Approach to Church

During 52 Churches, two churches planned to simultaneously shut down for a few months and then reopen as a new, merged entity. But it took much longer. At last we can visit. I call this process a reboot. Others might call it a church launch. Regardless, it’s new approach to church. Consider these seven discussion questions […]

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Visiting Churches

Church #56: The Reboot

We planned to visit this congregation for 52 Churches but couldn’t—because they didn’t exist then. Back then, two churches—one we skipped and one we visited (Church #25, “Embarking on a Metamorphosis”)—planned to simultaneously shut down for a few months and then reopen as a new, merged entity. It took more than a few months, and […]