I went to the Parish again this morning! It was a more full worship band, with Patrick leading on guitar, his wife singing, someone playing cajon, and Eddie playing keys. I came in late, but we sang Bless Your Name (which Eddie actually wrote! It’s actually how I know who he is), Fall Like Fire (which is one of the songs we sang last week; after an attempt to Google the lyrics, I can indeed confirm it is a very new song that is either Patrick’s, Eddie’s, or North Point’s), and 10,000 Reasons. When I came in, the room was PACKED. One of the greeters told me, “Good luck finding a seat, ha. You probably will have to sit in the front.” Actuaaaally, I decided it would be a perfect time to sit in a bar stool at church. It was fun! I got a good look at everyone because it was more high up.
Today’s message was on Luke 4:1-13. Eddie actually remarked that the church calender is on Ordinary Time2, and that they are taking a break from the liturgical year for a series (that started last week). This makes me wonder what other messages have been like. Anyways, Eddie mentioned that there are three temptations in our life:
- Temptation of performance (I am what I do)
- Temptation of possession (I am what I have)
- Temptation of popularity (I am what others think)
He offers two ways to fight these temptations: prayer and (accountability with a) spiritual friend.
We got this nifty little handout with some questions to think about when we are alone with God.
Afterwards, we had this time of reflection, and Eddie prepared us for the Eucharist. The communion/responsive song was……..Good Good Father (which is basically my all-time favorite worship song, ever)1. I think I’ve learned by now not to be surprised by God, like whenever something like this happened in the past I would yelp/shout; today, I merely grinned. I noticed someone made the Sign of the Cross after receiving the Eucharist, so some people here have still been raised in more liturgical traditions! After the Eucharist, we sang something off Psalm 9:10.
seek you / you will not forsake / those who seek you / shield of our hearts / and our refuge / with all that we are / we will seek you
Eddie then closed the service with announcements about Table Groups that were happening today, which is their form of community groups. It turned out that the one that I technically belong in was meeting a little bit after church; I was originally sad because I thought that it met at night which meant I would either have to forgo it, or going to Grace – so I was very very glad! So I got directions, and headed to a house 10 minutes away from my house.
Table group at the Nelson’s was wonderful. I am such an introvert, especially with people that I absolutely do not know, so it was a challenge for me, but I survived. I got to meet a few more people (and snag a free lunch). So today was the first day that Table Group met after church. In the past, the church would have services on the first, third, fourth (and fifth) Sundays of each month, and hold Table Group on the second (this worked because services were at night). However, they changed it up for good, along with holding services in the morning. I think this is so good because people naturally will grab lunch with each other after church, so why not do it together in a more “intentional” way? Along with the time change, Table Groups have now expanded from 2 to 5 groups. Some of the people were telling me how since the Nelson’s was one of the two groups, it used to be huge. So today was more of a family group (which feels so right, especially for an introvert like me). I also was able to ask some people where they went to church before the Parish! I expected them to all come from North Point, but many surprisingly came from Presbyterian churches!
I think I might just stay at the Parish from now on! Well, granted that I honestly would only be there two, maybe three more times before December because of school, but I think it is a good church to stick with. Although some parts of the service is more contemporary than I would like, it honestly is very similar to Sojourn, and I can always go to the Mission or a more liturgical Anglican church in Chattanooga if I want to.