Sunday, June 25, 2006

Church #8: Mt. Carmel Wesleyan Pilgrim Church

1. Who attended?
Bradley & Erica

How was the experience?
1: I was so uncomfortable and/or offended that I did not stay to the end of services.
10: This church was welcoming and thought-provoking. I would recommend that others experience this church.

ERICA: 6ish.
BRAD: 5, due to what the sermon.

3. Picture(s) of the church
(Sorry this pic is so blurry-- I was trying to be discreet. --Erica)

4. Name/location of the church:
Mt. Carmel Wesleyan Pilgrim Church
4170 Mt. Carmel Tobasco Road
Cincinnati, OH 45255 (no website provided)

5. Was it recommended to Church Hop?
Nope-- it's right across the street from last week's.

6. Time/duration of services:
10:30--almost noon.

7. What type of religion did the church cater to?
Wesleyan, I assume.

8. Who did you meet?
This church was incredibly friendly-- a ton of people sincerely shook our hands and welcomed us, or thanked us for visiting.

9. If applicable, scans of handouts, tracts, etc

10. Church Hopper’s personal experience with the church, additional details:

ERICA: I really liked this church at first-- as I said, everyone was really friendly and welcoming. (When we left, they even gave us peanut butter fudge for visiting. Wow.) I liked the music-- at first. It went on forEVER. And their AV consisted of a guy switching transparencies on an overhead projector-- I'm not being mean; I thought it was cute. He was, however, always a page behind what the group was actually singing. No big deal.

The actual sermon had ups and downs for me. Example of an up: the conversation about how people who consider themselves to be Christians should give praise to God all the time, instead of just when they need him. That I believe.

Example of a down: comparing God to a battered woman. You see, when you're a Christian who keeps taking advantage of God and then apologizing and then doing it again, you're like the abusive husband, but God, like the battered woman, will keep loving you. ...What?! What a terrible metaphor. I mean, I GET it... but my word.

Other than that the church wasn't all that noteworthy-- I thought it was very pretty, and a little old-timey, which always for some reason appeals to me. The congregation was mostly older, bordering on geriatric, but of course there were kids who *screamed* during the entire sermon and no one would do anything about it. There's a line between throwing a little tantrum and squealing your head off for the entire sermon.

Oh, I also wanted to mention that the pastor yelled the entire sermon. Not to raise his voice over that of the screaming child, but more like for emphasis. Emphasis, however, is supposed to be used on select parts of a message-- this entire (kinda long) sermon was belted at the top of his lungs. Even with microphones and great acoustics. I imagine that would wear thin after a while-- I can't imagine myself getting used to something like that. I could be wrong.

Brad: Upon entering this Church, I noticed that it felt very old. Not old in the sense that it had stood the test of time, or the material used was antique, but that it knew it’s tradition, it knew it’s roots, and it was happy with it. We were a few minutes late, so we hung out in the waiting room right in front of the main room. Despite the awkward morning, the people were very eager to learn who we were, and to welcome us to there little church.

I noticed someone I know who I said hello to over the course of the hand-shaking part, but it was followed by the longest segment of singing. They combined about 4 or 5 songs into 1, and even the main singer took a solo. It was pretty cool, but every Sunday, it would run really thin. Once the songs finally ended, the main man headed on up. When I first saw him, I didn't want to judge, so I kept an open mind, but when he was done with his sermon, I had a pretty good idea of what kind of preacher he was. He talked, VERY loud, and the man in the back that said "amen" to almost everything he said didn't help either.

His sermon consided of one major theme, and that was; using God only when you need him. I liked where he was going with his message, but I think he didn't have much together, because many things he said were the same thing he already covered five minutes ago. He then went on to compare Jesus with a battered woman. About how she will always defend the man that hits here, because she still 'loves' him. It was all very stupid, and in it's entirety, a really bad analogy.

However, I did like some things about this Church. They had a very classic feal about it, everybody was nice. I also thought it was very funny that they didn't have a projector, but an overhead. It made me kinda laugh, because in it's own way it's special. Oh well. I liked this Church, but it wasn't the greatest.

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