Sunday, September 24, 2006

Church #19: Anderson Hills Christian 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: 5, and then 4, and then 8!
BRADLEY: 7, because of the saving-tour

3. Picture(s) of the church

4. Name/location of the church:
Anderson Hills Christian Church
8119 Clough Pike
Cincinnati, OH 45244

5. Was it recommended to Church Hop?
Nope. We just pass it from time to time.

6. Time/duration of services:

7. What type of religion did the church cater to?
Disciples of Christ.
8. Who did you meet?
This church was probably the most welcoming we've been to so far. We shook a lot of hands.

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

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

ERICA: To be honest, this church didn't start off on the best possible foot. We were definitely welcomed right away by a few people, but then the service itself was unastounding. Plus, it was the kind of church that is very rehearsed (sit here, stand here, say this now, sit here, stand here), which is still a turn-off to me.

The music was nice-- there was a small choir and they sounded really good. They only did a couple songs, and we didn't have to stand through them all. I always appreciate that.

The sermon was uninspired even though the pastor seemed like a nice enough guy. It was very traditional and I didn't seen anyone in the congregation getting too "into it."

We didn't take communion, as we usually don't, but it was an interesting ceremony to me, because there still seemed to be some ritual to it. That was refreshing to me and that's when it climbed from a 4 to a 5. Most churches we've been to that take communion do it individually, but this church took communion together and I really liked that. I guess it's wrong of me to say that I dislike the strict discipline of the services but then appreciate the communion ritual-- call me a hypocrite, I'm just calling it like I see it.

What bumped the number way up for me actually occurred after the service. We could hardly take a step without someone else shaking our hand, but that's somewhat typical. What really changed it was Don-- sorry, I've forgotten his last name. Don introduced us to other people, using our first names right off the bat. He then offered to give us a tour of the church, which I'm making a big deal about because that has never happened to us before. Why?! We've felt so welcome in some churches but I have never been offered a tour. If I were looking for a new church home that would be such a huge gesture to me!

Don ushered us around the nursery, kitchen, common area, etc and talked about what goes on in various parts of the church. He also introduced us along the way, and with each "This is Erica and this is Bradley," I felt a little more at home. It can be nerve-wrecking to go around repeating your name a thousand times, especially when you're not on your own turf. To any churches reading this, especially small ones, offer a tour. It is the simplest thing but maybe you forget how daunting a new church can be.

Based on that welcome, I'd love to go back some day. As is sometimes the case, it was the actual religion that rubbed me the wrong way (not a BAD thing, just not MY thing), but the people themselves were warm and good-hearted. They invited us to their potluck lunch but we already had plans; I would have loved to stay.

BRADLEY:This church, was a misfire.

It was very odd, Erica is always trying to get me to find us a church, so I finally did. So, instead of us going, we both overslept, and with a haze of forgetting the time, we just decsided to go to the chuch right next to it. It's all good. They were both Lutheran, and they both seemed fine. Anyway, when we got into this church, it was full of people in the lobby. Young and old, each slowley filling up the place, as they entered in.

When sis and I took our seat, we looked around, and suddenly, the numbers had dropped. There were very few people in there, but they were all VERY friendley, and they all seemed to want us to stay. So, we sat down, and went through the morning announcements. After all that was said and done, we listened to the sermon.

Not the best, not the worst. The preacher was very cool, with his unplaceable accent, but he gave a simple message, with grace and care, but it didn't quite have the punch it needed, due to a lacking congregation, and an A/V outtage. But, regardless, the church made-up for itself when everything was over. For the FIRST time ever, somebody offered us a tour of the church. We didn't say yes just to be nice, Erica and I actually wanted a tour of the church, because this was such a cool and new expirence. The man that lead us around, pointed everything out, and indroduced us to everyone. That made such an impact on me, because they really took time out of there way to do that.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for attending our church, although I was out of town on the day that you came. May I suggest that you add an "11" to your rating scale which would reflect your own expectation of becoming closer to God through worship? Any of us, in any church, wants that for you.We try to help, but we cannot create it for you. Please come again!

Eebs said...

Thank you for your comment. Currently, that's what a "10" means for us-- which is why no church has necessarily hit that mark yet. I think we are speaking the same language here-- just consider "10" to be "11."

Besides, I feel closer to god in any church I visit-- for what reason always varies, though.