As we continue our series, we come to week three when we attended yet another church that is near to us, but we had never attended for a church service (George went for some special program once). Most anyone in the area will know this church as "The Barn". The Covenant Presbyterian Church in Simsbury is a converted barn. We went for the early service at 9am in the Hayloft Sanctuary. I enjoyed the unusual setting, though did not notice if they have handicap access for this experience. There was a small group of people gathered for this traditional service.
As their bulletin points out, this service was traditional in worship, praise and prayer and contemplative for inner reflection. There were times for corporate response and time for silent reflection. As George looks for American flags, it is not mandatory, but I like to see the cross in churches. The loft had a wooden cross draped in white cloth. The wooden beams, the peak of the silo out of a window, I just found the loft an amazing room to worship.
This church has two services. The second one is contemporary and is held downstairs in the Celebration Hall. I convinced George to go to the beginning so I could hear the music. We had coffee in between the services in a section of the building that we were told used to house cattle. It was interesting to consider that and knowing how tired George gets sometimes of the George Washington jokes, I refrained from mentioning to the parishioners that those cattle gave new meaning to Holy Cow.
There were some great homemade goodies, but I think we heard that they only have the coffee hour once a month. We met several people and everyone was helpful and friendly. It was a comfortable setting.
On the way to the Celebration Hall, we were shown the silo which is now an office. I enjoyed the unique qualities of this building. The Celebration Hall was, on the other hand, a modern room with instrumentalists and the words to the songs projected on the walls. I enjoyed the music leaders at that service.
The same sermon was to be preached at both services. As we listened quietly in the loft, the sermon spoke to my personal struggle currently. It was Bible based.
What I got from the sermon: Pastor Martin used I Peter 2:13-25 for the basis of his Chosen for Obedience sermon, "But They're Not Godly!". He stated that we are to submit to all authorities. He included fun antidotes about some crazy laws on the books. Unfortunately, he said we are to submit to all authority, even when they are ungodly. Why? Because it is commendable (example Joseph was sold into slavery; Paul was unjustly punished but in the end God raised up churches and much fruit). Even Jesus stayed silent when he was accused and he just endured his pain and suffering.
How far do we go to follow ungodly authority? We stop when it makes us do ungodly things. We need to stand our ground but respectfully and honorably. "Jesus requires something different of me."
Why does God want us to submit to others? (v. 13) For the Lord's sake be worthy of respect, honorable. It will silence anything negative they will say about us, Jesus or the church. It is not easy. Jesus did not want to die on the cross, but he was willing to submit. Submitting shows Christ's glory in us.
Would we go again? I thought this was a nice fit in that, we could go to the traditional service and then I could go to the following service for a few contemporary songs. I would put this as a great possibility but alas, there wasn't an American flag.
"The Barn" is located at 124 Old Farms Road, Simsbury, CT. Their website is www.cpcbarn.org. They have Women's and Men's studies, youth ministries and prayer meetings.
In case you wondered, unless we find a church that knocks our socks off and shouts this is the place we are to be, it is our intent, God willing, to go to 52 different churchs in 52 weeks. After that we will pick our new church home. I can tell you now that it is going to be a difficult decision...mainly because so far we each have a favorite and it is a different one.
For the next edition of this series, I am turning it over to George. Being as it is my blog, I will probably add my two cents worth. I told him he is welcome to start his own blog, as a man of many opinions, it would be a wonderful outlet, but he has chosen instead to be my guest writer. Stay tuned.