Friday, September 4, 2009

Oxford Valley Chapel

After our most recent experiences in church-shopping, we decided on a few more clarification factors in choosing potential services. One was trying churches where the pastor has a doctorate, figuring that would provide very well-put-together sermons. The current excel spreadsheet I created (which will be expanded soon) featured three pastors in this category. Unfortunately, the first seems to have lost said pastor in the last month, and now has an interim. The second was on vacation, so we tried the third.

Oxford Valley Chapel is about ten minutes away, and very close to the hustle-and-bustle of Oxford Valley & US1. There wasn't a lot of parking, and the sanctuary was only about half-full. We were recognized as visitors upon entering the building, and warmly welcomed. We each received a "welcome packet," and I must note that it's probably the very best one I've ever seen... very friendly, warm, and handy. The associate pastor greeted us before heading to the front. Turns out that the senior pastor was on vacation, so he'd be filling in.

The service ran a little over an hour and fifteen minutes, and since the start time is 10:45, I assume 75 minutes is a typical service. Announcements took up nearly twenty minutes, which definitely signifies that this church is very active! Songs were a combination of contemporary praise and traditional hymns... but they didn't always stand up, which was strange. The songs were also clustered into two sections, and at the end of the sermon, there was a "dismissal" and no closing song. No Lord's Prayer, no friendship register, no "greet those around you." The sermon itself flowed pretty well, but the title ("Near-Sighted Christians") was difficult to discern for quite a while. The bulletin did not include an "order of events" for the service, and only mentioned 2 Peter 1 as the scripture... although we used several books and various verses, so there was a lot of jumping around.

Oxford Valley Chapel will jump down toward the bottom of the "possibilities" list, and we may try them again when the regular pastor is speaking.

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