Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Eckerson Church Search: Season 2, Episode 4

It's a two-fer, boys & girls! OK, just girls. But still, two blog posts in one day. Because, I was working until almost 10, so why not give it a few more minutes on the laptop and get it in while I can? Work has been insane, not to mention some personal struggles we've been going through, and a little old thing called MY BEST FRIEND'S WEDDING to keep me busy. But, the long overdo blog about our most recent church visit is here.

A few weeks ago, Ben & I joined my sweet cousin, also named Ben, and his lovely fiancee Courtney for breakfast at the State Farmer's Market Restaurant - always delicious! - and headed to the middle of nowhere to visit Apex United Methodist Church. All right, I admit that we don't spend much time in Apex, but it felt like the middle of nowhere. 11:00 service? Check! Held in a real live chapel, complete with stained glass? Check! Songs from a hymnal? Check! Anyone in the congregation younger than 65? ... a hesitant "check" but a Check! all the same.

If you're an avid reader of this blog (can you hear the sarcasm?), you are probably aware of our struggles in finding our church home. The aforementioned criteria are all hiccups that have kept us from returning to other churches we've visited. While this was in no way what I imagine as my perfect church, we are continuing to move down the right path. The church was small-ish, despite a very impressive website. We attended the traditional service (though a contemporary one was available at the same time), for Ben's benefit. It was daunting at first to see the majority of attendees are likely 4 decades our seniors, but families with tweens and teenagers filtered in as it got closer to start time - I can only imagine the struggle to get a 16 year old out of bed on a Sunday morning!

They opened the service with a video announcement promoting their service at the park the following Sunday, which featured the minister as a "rapper" (if you want to call it that) that I found endearing and adorable. It was great comedic relief for a conservative Methodist church! Unfortunately, the minister who spoke that particular Sunday was a guest preacher. While we enjoyed his message, and the service as a whole, we feel called to give it another shot and get a feel for the normal teaching from their regular minister. I don't think either of us is sold on it entirely yet, but we're both willing to give it another shot (the next time we're actually in town - notice a trend, here?).

To top it all off, just this wknd, a lovely older gentlemen visited our home (at an appropriate 2:00pm) on Saturday to drop off a gift bag, thank us for visiting, and ask if we had any questions. That contact, two weeks later, was the first we'd had with anyone from the church, which I love. No nagging voice-mails, no guilt-laden emails, just a pleasant house call. Good work, Apex! Oh, and I must add, this recommendation came from my dear friend Katie, who is a Methodist Minister in TN.

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