Saturday, June 24, 2006

News: Church Hop Updates

Just a quick note to point out that Bradley has added RSS feeds-- check out the very very bottom of this page if you want to subscribe.

He has also added a link to the Church Hop Charter for anyone who hasn't seen it yet-- the link to that post is on the left-hand side of the page.

We're working on fixing the site in IE, as requested, but with the constant internet problems there's scarcely the time to get things posted, much less kinks worked out. But we're working on it.

Thank you to everyone for the recent postings-- we really encourage that kind of feedback and discussion! It's great to hear from people we know and people we don't.

I think that's it-- hopefully tomorrow we'll get enough internet loyalty to get a good post up. Thanks for reading! Check out the previous post about the thank you packet from Mt. Carmel Christian Church.

Church #7: Thank you packet

This is a late post because we actually received Mt. Carmel Christian Church's thank you packet on Thursday. However, Bradley and I have had major internet issues for about a week or so and I've been unable to post until today. (Warning: tomorrow's post may also be delayed for this reason.)

Mt. Carmel Christian Church sent us an entire packet of information on programs they offer. I have scanned just three of the brochures-- there were six in all. This was an excellent gesture because there was something for everyone in this packet-- each of the programs had a clear target audience. If I were actually shopping for a church I think this would have helped me a lot-- made me feel like there was a place for me, specifically, and all the information was right there in front of me. No calling and internet-ing required.

There was also a "thank you for attending" letter included, which I'll write out for you because I'm not sure you can read the scan I made:

Dear Erica, (Bradley got his own packet, with the same information)

Thanks for coming to Mt. Carmel! I hope you were blessed by the experience. It is our goal on the weekends to let folks know that Jesus loves them and so do we!

I hope our church will be a positive influence on your life and will be a life changing experience like it has been for me and my family. Please look through the information included with this letter; it is a good start in growing your faith and meeting friends. I would recommend that you sign up for our Mt. Carmel Open House class (see brochure), the next class is scheduled on July 16th.

I believe that your visit was not by chance. God has brought you here for a reason. It is my hope that we fulfill that purpose. Thanks again for coming. Have a good week.

John "Didi" Bacon
Lead Pastor

I still favor the brief, handwritten notes we've received in the past, but as I said, if I were legitamately looking to settle down at one church, this information would have been extremely helpful to me.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Church #7: Mt. Carmel 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: 8. It would be a 10 if it weren't for the anti-homosexual messages.
BRAD: 9. Due to the fact that I know a member*

3. Picture(s) of the church

4. Name/location of the church:
Mt. Carmel Christian Church
4183 Mt. Carmel Tobasco Road
Cincinnati, OH 45245

5. Was it recommended to Church Hop?
Yes! Finally, and indirectly, an invite! Dad was at a park and people were handing out free bottles of water and invitations to the church. Dad brought it home to us and we decided it was directed our way.

6. Time/duration of services:

7. What type of religion did the church cater to?
Christians? It seemed pretty non-denominational.

8. Who did you meet?
No one-- I just realized that. Oops.

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

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

ERICA: This church was amazing and I thought we'd finally found a "ten." There was a fun band + good music... the church itself was beautiful and contemporary... everyone who spoke was casual and articulate... and most of all, there seemed to really be an air of "let's do things to make people's lives better, through our belief."

Then, finally, came the part when a woman came up and started talking about the therapy and counseling they offer to homosexuals. She read from the Bible about how it wasn't originally God's plan (which I buy, I guess), but then she made it clear that she thinks people can be "talked out of it." I cannot stand behind thinking like that. I think it's great that they offer a community outreach program regarding homosexuality-- I think it's rather cutting-edge of a church. However, when that program offers to "fix the problem," that's when my blood starts to boil. I have a few gay friends myself, and none of them consider it a "problem." They see people's reactions as a problem, and the lack of acceptance as a problem, but their lfiestyle in general is not problematic. I stand behind my friends and it truly wounded me to listen to the diatribe that took place. Especially when it ruined what was otherwise the best church I'd been to, ever.

Brad: Well, first of all, this church was great. That being said, I would have given it a 10, but I really did not like there message about gays, but I'll get to that later.

*When we got there, they had a really cool picture display, and I liked the way they had there tech booth setup (that's a hard thing to do) but I noticed that one of my subs from school was there, Mr. D, who is the coolest sub I've ever had. I knew he must be the singer. ANYWAY, this church had a very, very nice band, that sang some songs that I thought were different, in the sense that they were a little more modern. I don't know why, but that made all the difference to me. Also, I noticed I was a little overdressed (AGAIN!) for this service, but when the day that I fit right in comes, I'll be dancing in the streets.

Here comes the part I didn't like. A very nice woman came up to read a brief message about what our donations were going to lateley. I figured it was the standard relife funds in Mexico, or buying some more eithernet cable for the church's tech booth, but it turns out it was going to helping people battle the disease of homosexuallity. I didn't agree with this one bit. While they have a right to there opinion, I do too, and I just think that's wrong. It's choice you make, but something really didn't sit right with me that you have to be with one kind of person to be right with God. It hard to make a vailid point when I'm this angry, but you catch my idea. I didn't like it.

Now, they kept having people switch out who was giving a certain message, but this guy that really knew what he was doing came up. I couldn't place his accent, but he started talking about Father's Day. He gave a brief history about it, and went into a sermon (?) about it, what it is, and how great it feels to be a dad. That also lead into the messages about how we sometimes are so focused on makeing sure other people do things right, we forget to do the right things ourselves. It was all very well put together.