Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Church #30: Springdale Nazarene

1. Who attended? Bradley and 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.

ERICA: 7-8.
BRADLEY: Around a 7, for it's exceptional music.

3. Picture(s) of the church

4. Name/location of the church:
Springdale Nazarene
11177 Springfield Pike
Cincinnati, OH 45246

5. Was it recommended to Church Hop?
Yes! A while ago! Someone I know through Flickr.com suggested we visit the church she grew up in.

6. Time/duration of services:

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

8. Who did you meet?
I am really slacking on this part, aren't I? We need to stop going so late-- it's easier to stick around afterwards when you're not thinking about lunch.

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

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

ERICA: I was really, really surprised by this church. Whatever expectations I had when I went in, they were exceeded. I gave this church a 7-8 as far as feeling welcome goes, because we had to hunt down a person handing out programs (we went in a different door), but otherwise they made it very clear that visitors were welcome in their church.

The music was amazing-- truly. Their big, energetic choir belted it out with passion and they had a full orchestra (I couldn't see their faces, but I'm sure they were into it too). There was an amazing male soloist who was obviously singing his heart out, and it was a beautiful thing to be a part of.

The sermon was interesting and engaging, and the pastor was articulate. (Out of 30 churches now, how many times have I used that word?! I need a thesaurus.) The church itself was big and gorgeous (although I was dying to see the stained glass behind the projector screen, but I never got the chance). The auditorium was huge but filled quickly. The congregation seemed mostly older but I didn't feel alienated.

It was just a good experience, being there. I loved the part when they brought the "UPWARDS" kids to the stage-- cheerleaders and basketball players-- something like 350 kids in all-- and had them sing a song. Very cute and heartstrings-pully. And the whole thing still ended up being a little shorter than most of our recent hops-- it came and passed so quickly.

BRADLEY: This church blew me away.

So Erica and I got dressed in our sweaters and such, and went out in search of this church. We were driving through a very nice area, eying the small churches along the way. We scanned each marquee to see if it was ours, but no luck. Then we both looked up on this massive, gigantic church. Maybe it was just the front, but this thing looked huge. And yet, upon entering, people were doing the same thing as normal. Offering hugs and greetings to there fellow church goers.

Erica and I found some seats near the side, kind of close. After scoring programs, they welcomed to the stage the musical talent. And I gotta tell 'ya, they were absolutely amazing. A full band, complete with brass and string, not to mention the 30+ member choir. It just blew me away. They started a few songs, all better than the next. It was around this time when a soloist came up on the stage.

This man was amazing!

He hit each note with soul and power, leaving me wanting more. It was just a fantastic thing to be a part of. The crowd was cheering, and everyone was happy to be worshiping together.

It was a little after that settled down, when the announced the church's basketball team. They had over 350 players, and a gazillion helpers. After a few minutes of loading them onto the stage, they talked about mission programs and numbers, finally ending with a song, sung by the kids. It was all very cute, but very hectic.

Then the pastor came out. This was the only part that didn't amaze me. Usually I talk about how much I live the pastor or preacher tying in personal stories with the sermon. It brings a more, "real life" feel to things. Well, I found out that you can go to the other side of the spectrum with this. He related a little too much for my taste. He wasn't bad, but he would constantly pause and repeat words. I know it's for effect, but it really looses that effect after the 6th or 7th time.

This was a smart, and very spectacular church.

ALSO! We haven't had a thank you card in a while, and this week we received one from Full Gospel Assembly (last week's church).

The inside reads: Erica & Bradley-- It was so nice you came and visited our church. We really enjoyed having you. It was great meeting you both, and we hope you will come again. Jesus loves you very much. God bless. Full Gospel Assembly