Monday, October 08, 2007

Reformed worship

After a substantial hiatus around Jenna's birth and Julie's subsequent gall bladder issues, we're gearing up to try visiting a few more churches. First on the agenda, this month, is a Lutheran church of the Missouri Synod. This particular type of Lutheran church is noted for its conservative theology, and I guess its conservative liturgy as well, though that part is changing. Someone has already warned us that he knows of Lutherans who live in Columbia but bypass the local Missouri Synod church for one in Northern Virginia, because this one just isn't traditional enough (or some such thing).

Beyond that, we plan to try something from the Reformed tradition, and just today we received a recommendation for a church in Annapolis, Christ Reformed Evangelical Church. It's too far away for us to think seriously about attending there regularly, but it's probably worth checking out anyway. The first selling point is the pastor, who filled in at Bethany for a communion service while the pastor there was sick. We both somehow liked his message, though for some different yet overlapping reasons. (Personally, I found his presentation of communion to be shockingly sacramental--so much so, that I questioned how much thought had gone into picking him for that particular service.) In addition, they place a strong emphasis on liturgical worship, which seems promising. Considering that it comes from an Evangelical perspective, the section on their Web site that explains their take on worship is worth reading.

One big apprehension I have is that it doesn't seem likely that we'd find a church similar enough close by to gain much from the visit. As I've said before, it's all well and good to find one specific congregation that seems to meet our needs, but if its denomination as a whole is repulsive or, as in this case, so small that finding another church like it is next to impossible, it may not be of much practical use. On the other hand, if we try a church like this, and it doesn't seem like it would meet our needs, it may help us to rule out a whole strand of tradition as unlikely. In any case, it's probably better to start there than to pick something blindly just because it happens to be close by. More to follow . . .

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