Saturday, April 07, 2007

Mad Scratch

Ahoy, Church Hop readers! (No, this is not a notice about how we aren't going to hop this week... we absolutely intend to.)

On the left side and bottom of the site, Bradley and I have added some AdSense elements. The site has been seeing abnormal traffic lately, and we thought we'd give The Man a try. HOWEVER, this comes with a stipulation that hopefully you can get behind. Bradley and I will be donating any money that we amass from the ads on Church Hop. We currently give $2 ($1 each) to the church that we visit, and if things go well with AdSense, we'd like to add that income to our "tithes."

Does that sound right to you? Comment with some feedback, positive or negative. If you want to support the Hop, click on some links why don'tcha? In the next couple of months we'll be playing with which ads work, if they work at all, so things might change a little. Just to give you a heads up. :)

Thanks for your interest in Church Hop (even if you hate the project-- after all, that generates hits, too). We'll keep you updated on our AdSense venture.

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.