Church Search #2 (Aug. 28) Pilgrim's Rest Baptist Church I was told that if I was looking for a traditional church, the Pilgrim's Rest would fill that bill. I arrived early, and they begin Sunday School with everyone meeting in the sanctuary to break to their individual Sunday School classes. This took care of the announcements (but the same exact announcements were given in the worship service, and were also printed in the bulletin--so that was a bit redundant.) We then sang several traditional hymns ("Blessed Assurance," "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms", and "At Calvary") Sunday school was rather dry. I was in "Adult Male" Class and was the youngest of the room. The lesson was dominated by a man who seemed to me to be a bit of a crackpot. He had a strange theory that you should always go with your first impulse, believing it to come from God. If you second-guess your first impulse you are letting Satan cloud your judgment. Apparently if you have a choice of Orange juice of grapefruit juice to drink for breakfast and your first thought is grapefruit juice, it is grieving the Holy Spirit to reflect on it and go with orange juice. The grapefruit juice has the exact combination of nutrition that you need for that minute. He had several long monologues on this discussion and no one interrupted. The lesson was on Zaccheus and I don't see how any of his theories related. The church service followed this order of service: Hymn: O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing Invocation Sunday School Report Announcements and Prayer Concerns Prayer Hymn: Make Me a Channel of Blessing Offertory Children's Sermon Special Music: It is Joy Unspeakable and Full of Glory Sermon: Are You at the End of Your Rope? Invitational Hymn: Place Your Hand in the Nail Scarred Hand Benediction Hymn: God is So Good The sermon was quite good. But I sat on the back pew and no one introduced himself to me. They were all polite, but not exactly friendly. I returned for the evening service. It started off with a business meeting and one elderly lady wanted the pastor to make it clear to the visitors that they (or um.... I) did not have voting privileges. It only went downhill from there. It was a bickering fest and apparently there is some sort of animosity among the pastor and the trustees over repairs not being completed. I left and scratched that church off my list as well. Church #3 Good Shepherd Baptist Church (Sept. 4) This church does not have a website so I had no idea what to expect. I selected it because it is only three blocks from where I stay. I was met at the door with a perky lady who who handed me a bulletin that had six panels and then six additional inserts. I was told that it was "donut day" and directed to the fellowship hall. Several people introduced me and asked if it was my first visit including the teacher of the College & Career class. I was reading the bulletin and bookmarking the sermon references when I realized that Sunday School was starting. On my way to my classroom, I passed a kids' class and they were singing this song: I'm no kin to the monkey, no, no, no. The monkey's no kin to me. I don't know much about your family tree, But my grandpa didn't swing from a tree. I got to my Sunday School classroom which started off with this you tube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BG6XAbYgnMM&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PL77DE544CC2DEA0E5 Then on to the service. This was the order of service: Welcome and Greetings Invocation Hymn of Praise: Immortal, Invisible God Only Wise Sunday School Report Announcements Prayer Hymn of Mediation: "Take My Life, Use Me Lord" Children's Church: "What is a Missionary" Special Music: "The Mission" Sermon: "Finding Your Mission Field" Hymn of Decision: "Christ Receiveth Sinful Men" Observance of the Lord's Supper "Let us Break Bread Together" Hymn of Dismissal: "People Need the Lord" I really liked it and would have gone back for evening service but they were canceled. They are having a September Young Adults Bible Study on Wednesday Night on the Book of Revelation which admittedly is a book I never have really understood.