Today we attended church with the Baldwinis* again.
This time, at the Southside Christian Church, on Spokane’s south hill. The sermon was part of the Quest series, and you should be able to view it here. (As I wrote this, at 5:50pm Sunday the 9th, it was not yet posted for viewing). You’re looking for the 03/09/08 sermon from the Quest series, number 7, entitled GROW by Galen Doughty. It should appear as “03/09/08 Quest 7 GROW Galen Doughty” on the list here.
A few years ago, an editing client of mine mentioned that her church, the Valley Assembly of God, mentioned that her church had a room called “The Link” which, as she described it, was a coffee shop that piped the main service in via closed circuit television. I’ve been intrigued by this idea, and, when the lovely Mrs. Baldwini mentioned that Southside had a similar configuration, we jumped at the chance to try it out. (And we’re pretty sure we’ll hit the Valley Assembly’s Link next week–wow–we’re never this organized).
A few thoughts on today’s service:
First, it is fairly common practice among denominations that have the sermon as the focus to include message outlines, often with “fill in the blank” areas with each point. Farmergirl, not familiar with this practice, thought that the congregation was supposed to fill in the blanks with what they thought the answers should be. She was surprised to find that the text of those sentences (the main points of each section) beamed on the screen, with the “correct answers” on them.
Second, we had an interesting discussion on Bede‘s theological works (relating people’s relationship to God in terms of upholding the honor of a nobleman), and the use of investing and personal relationships to describe present day understanding of our relationship to God.
Third, the pastor made the claim that Jesus spoke on the topic of money “more than any other subject.” I haven’t yet done any research on the topic, and we couldn’t decide how far the envelope of “money-as-topic might stretch–do the reap/sow allusions count? the inheritance of the meek? This is one for the questions, and probably the topic of a letter. We’re apparently not alone in wondering about this topic.
Fourth, everyone who uses slides to display the words for the songs seems to have a desire/need to superimpose the words over pictures. We agreed that this was probably the least annoying version of this technology we’d seen so far, but I think Michael was still annoyed. I have the strange questions: who produces the photos? Are they done by the church? (Foothills Community Church had at least one slide of their own building). Are they bought in packages? Who is making them? How does the worship team/leadership decide what to use? Where did this begin?
Fifth, we stayed after to have coffee with the Baldwinis, and got our car washed by the youth group, which was working to raise money for their mission trip to Mexico. While we were sitting in line, waiting for our turn, I was reading the T-shirts of many of the youth, and thinking about how many “Christian” shirts there are that are parodies of corporate logos. What was the first Christian logo parody shirt? Not this “Starbucks” one, which one of the young men was wearing Michael thinks either a Coke or Pepsi one– we decided it probably started in the 80s. We don’t know.
*Not the real surname of this lovely Italian** family
**Not their real ethnicity of origin