A husband who grew up Catholic. A wife who grew up Evangelical / Non-Denominational / Assembly of God / some combination thereof. Is there middle ground? Can we find a church home that will suit both of our needs? Our journey continues throughout the Triangle.
This week: Genesis United Methodist Church
I passed the church last week when I went to see Kelly & Casey finish their marathon. It was so close to our house that I made a mental note to check out service times - 11:20, perfect, right? Wrong. There was nothing overtly wrong with this church, I guess, but it gets very few checks on our list.
The location of the church itself is something that is really important to Ben. I think this comes from growing up Catholic, as most (all?) Catholic churches are filled with stained glass windows, candles, statues, etc. I certainly don't disagree with him on this one, though I never identified it as a priority until he brought it up.
From the street (High House, in case you were wondering), it looks like a huge building. Upon entry, we were both pretty disappointed. It's more like the warehouse / gymnasium-esque buildings that I was used to attending. No stained glass. No pews. A big X on that one.
The biggest priority for both of us is having a good teacher. Someone who can engage us, put things into a contemporary spin, someone who isn't too long-winded but isn't just regurgitating scripture. I need a charismatic speaker, and Ben wants someone who is clearly educated by seminary or otherwise.
The minister was a sweet older man with a southern accent. His sermon was short, his anecdotes were irrelevant and his message was superficial at best. His one redeeming quality was that he sought us out as we were exiting (despite a huge line of church-goers waiting to shake his hand) and thanked us for coming, and asked us to come back.
Church Body: B
Eckerson Church Search, Season 2 Episode 2 was very promising (and still might be our best fit so far), but the biggest problem we had was the average age of the church body (which was approximately 65). While not as big of a priority for Ben, I'm looking for the opportunity to fellowship with people we have something in common with. Maybe they're 20-somethings and dating, or maybe they're 30-somethings with two kids, but they're definitely not 60-somethings with blue hair.
Genesis had a great mix of church-goers at a variety of ages. Even though it was a bit smaller, there were a good amount of young families, and a choir filled mostly with grandma-aged folks. This was probably the most redeeming quality about the church.
Overall Grade: C
The schedule of the church was great. The location (4 minutes from our house) is ideal. The music situation was fine. Our fellow church-goers were friendly but not overbearing. Length of sermon and length of service were good. Length of prayer was awkwardly long, though. And as a whole, we were unimpressed. So, we continue the Eckerson Church Search. We're gonna be out of town for the next few weeks (Mexico next Sunday - YAY!, Kelly's Bridal Shower in VA the weekend after that), so we'll hopefully resume this series April 17.
And of course, if anyone reads this, and you have a suggestion for a church we should try, please send it my way!