Moving to a new town means finding a new church -- a process I don't enjoy at all. Hubby has visited two churches now in San Antonio. One was John Hagee's Cornerstone Church. He said, "It's quite a performance. I don't think it's where we want to go, but it's probably something you'll want to experience." He lost me at performance.
The other we visited with him again last Sunday. It's a small (by Texas standards) Baptist church near his apartment. We both grew up Baptist, though we haven't attended a Baptist church for about 20 years for various reasons. However, doctrinally, I think that's still where we live, so it might be kind of nice to come home to a Baptist church again.
This is not your ordinary Baptist church, though. They said (in their visitors' materials) that since there are so many churches in the area that offer the high-energy, loud, praise-band style of worship (and I don't doubt that), they intentionally made the choice to focus on the more reverential, traditional style. They have a full-choir, in robes, with piano and organ. They sing traditional hymns and sing them with gusto, according to hubby (he said their passion while singing was moving in itself). Last Sunday was Children's Sunday and the kids choir led the service, so the girls and I didn't get to see the whole enchilada, so to speak, but it was still a breath of fresh air.
Now, here's what threw me. The pastors wore robes. I've never seen a Baptist pastor in a robes. And they apparently follow the traditional "church calendar": last Sunday was Ascension Sunday -- next week is Pentecost Sunday. I've NEVER heard of a Baptist church following the church calendar.
And I've never attended a church that followed the church calendar. And I'm wondering if I want to. Much as I liked so many things about the church, the teaching aspects of the service felt routine, ritualized . . . safe. Too safe. The Holy Spirit is not routine, nor ritualized, and most definitely is not safe. (As Mr. Beaver said about Aslan: "Safe? Of course he isn't safe. But he's good.") Not that every other worship style doesn't have their routines and rituals and safe zones . . . so maybe my hesitation is just about the newness, not the formulaic-ness.
I've become rather weary of the mega-church, programmed worship model, so I'm up for something different. Whether this is it, I don't know. But I would love to hear from friends who do the church calendar thing and find out how that works for them.