Sunday, April 01, 2007

Church #33: Love & Faith Christian Center

1. Who attended? Bradley & Erica.

How welcome did you feel at this church?
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.

BRADLEY: 7, this was an awesome church.

3. Picture(s) of the church

4. Name/location of the church:
Love & Faith Christian Center
3946 Hopper Hill Road
Cincinnati, OH 45255

5. Was it recommended to Church Hop?
Not originally, but I guess on last week's post, Gail pointed us in their direction. :)

6. Time/duration of services:

7. What type of religion did the church cater to?

8. Who did you meet?
Bradley saw his Spanish teacher & his wife when we were leaving (hi Mr. & Mrs. Smith!), so I suppose that counts.

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

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

ERICA: First off, everyone was supposed to give out this card to people who might want to visit for next Sunday's Easter services. So there you go-- I am officially inviting anyone who reads this blog to visit Love & Faith Christian Center. All the details are on that little Check Your Baggage card. :)

And now onto my opinions. I really felt very welcome at this church (once I FOUND the place). We were welcomed immediately upon entering the church, and everyone around us seemed friendly. The very first point inside the weekly program, right under the date, is "A special welcome to our first-time visitors!" and while the program doesn't have the schedule of what happens during a service, it does make it clear that Love & Faith is very active within their community and within their own circle.

The service started with a lot of music that people really got behind. Many people stayed seated, but this was definitely a time for rowdy worship. Nearly every pew was filled, and everyone seemed enthusiastic to be there.

After the music and an adorable moment with the children (they sang songs with Spanish verses and elements of American Sign Language!), communion started. It was a pass-the-tray kind of communion, which I find myself looking forward to every time. So much less stress, and another sign that this church does open its arms to visitors.

I found myself really having a good time during the sermon, which is something I don't say often. Pastor Dale Campfield was very funny, very engaging, very off-the-cuff. His sermon was entertaining and grounded in real-life messages. He directed certain parts of the sermon toward particularly members of the congregation, including pulling up an elderly member who had been there since the church started.

This church gave off that one-big-family vibe, and I found that incredibly comfortable (barring the part where we had to stand up and pray with specific people... I wasn't sure how to handle that right away). I'm still recommending that they put their website on their marquee, but on the whole I feel like they had their hearts in the right place.

Brad: Well, starting off with this church being seemingly impossible to find, (turns out we missed it by one turn) it was extremely welcome, and very upbeat. It's always very satisfying to go to a church that I see often (it's right by the highway), it really fills me with a feeling of accomplishment. Which is much attributed to Erica, so thanks sis. This project rocks.

Anywho, I noticed this church had just remodeled one of it's sides, which I could tell just by the look that it was trying to reach out to the younger side of their church, which I'm finding out is a large step for a church to take. I usually talk about their connection to people of my age (because they're my age) but it seems like it's a much more complicated process than I've given credit for.

The church seats in the main auditorium were very close together, which pushed a forced togetherness that I didn't love, but at the same time I didn't hate. I guess we were lucky to even have seats, because this place was packed. It was filled with all sorts of people, varying in a wide range of ages. They went through their announcements and a few songs with the kids. That always makes me feel awkward-kid songs.

Then it moved on to the pastor, which I just loved. I met my former spanish teacher Mr. Smith there, and he informed me that Pastor Campfield used to the a youth minister, which I guess that's why I liked the way he gave his sermon so much. He just had a certain look about him that was confident, and very knowledgeable about his subject. This was a just a cool church, that's really starting to grow on me.


d-mc said...

Hi Eebs,
Thanks for the post on the Voyage Blog. Sorry to hear yo uget negative feedback. That doesn't make any sense to me because all you are posting are your experiences. I don't see how anyone could disagree with what YOU experienced.

But all of us christians aren't always rational.

Anyway, I was thinking about you guys while trying to sleep last night. I was wondering if reading the bible is part of your journey or if you are strictly keeping it to the church hopping thing. Just curious.

God bless you on your journey!

David mc

d-mc said...

oh yeah! one more thing.

As i sat in our service today i "tried" to look at it through your lenses. When we received communion i found myself laughing wondering if you would feel comfortable. We passed the trays so i was glad to see tonight you enjoy that method!

i also tried to talk to mroe people i didnt know.

so thanks!

Craig said...

This is a great blog. d-mc hooked me up to it and I really enjoy it.

I have been in church so long, it helps me to see it from a new approach. Thanks for your helpful insight! Keep it up. It really has helped me think through how we plan out our services.

d-mc said...

craig is sexy!

Eebs said...

Hahaha, well thank you both for stopping by and showing your support. :D

JenLo said...

My brother stumbled on to your blog and turned me on to it. I read every entry just today. It's very compelling. I commend you on your objective reviews and the fact that you are not critical or unkind.

I think if you came to my church, I would be able to take your insights as constructive suggestions, so I don't think people should feel offended at you relating what you experience. You both seem to be very fair.

I think it would be great for you to do a post on why you started the project in the first place (I looked and couldn't find it) and also maybe a bit about your religious background. It sounds like you do have some Protestant Christian church exposure (like being familiar with traditional hymns)but it would just help put some of your comments in context.

Keep seeking the Truth.

Eebs said...

Jenlo-- Thanks for visiting (and thanks to your brother, too... ahh, word of mouth).

I do hear a lot of requests for the "back story" on this project. I should probably start heeding the requests, eh? ;) I feel that I've touched on my motives from time to time, but if you read every entry and still aren't sure, I guess I haven't done a very good job with that!

Let me think about it... gather my thoughts and see if I feel they're worth reading. ;) But I will definitely give it some thought, and thank you so much for your suggestions.

JenLo said...

I did get the 'jist' from your posts, but wasn't sure if that was something that developed after you started your visits or if that's how the idea came to originate.

Jarushia pabst said...

What time does chruch start ? Im needed jesus back in my life and i need support some please contact me on here or heres mybemail or my cell is 513 903 8686