Denton Mystery Worship One: The Sound of Children

After attending multiple worship services this summer where children were excluded, it was a refreshing delight for me to be in one where children were obviously welcome and heard. A friend of mine, his two pre-teen sons, and I attended the 8:00 am Mass at Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church in Denton. The sounds of babies and small children in worship, along with the youth serving in leadership roles as acolytes, open the door to worship as a community act. We chose the early English language service and as we drove up to the church around 7:45, we followed and … Continue reading Denton Mystery Worship One: The Sound of Children

California Mystery Worship Four: Back in the Saddle Again

As always, I arrived early. A friend and I had driven 40 miles to the center of Hollywood to attend the 9:00 am service of Saddleback Church, Hollywood site, located at the Palladium Theater. Clearly the set-up crew had already been working for several hours. Saddleback banners flanked the building, making it easy to find from its entrance on Sunset Blvd, just off Vine Street. A sign pointed us to the parking lot, already coned off and ready for visitors. Multiple kiosks stood ready and waiting to give information about small groups, children’s ministries, and general information. My companion, not … Continue reading California Mystery Worship Four: Back in the Saddle Again

California Mystery Worship One: Hollywood UMC

“Good Heavens! Do you know what the land under this parking lot is worth?” That reaction came from the mouth of my friend, a real estate professional, when we found the parking lot of Hollywood United Methodist Church, right in the middle of . . . yes, indeed, Hollywood. As in Los Angeles. As in sidewalks with stars on them and grungy-looking stores and famous landmarks. And a place where parking is nearly impossible to find. I am in Southern California for several weeks and she and I had made a long drive in order to attend this church, known … Continue reading California Mystery Worship One: Hollywood UMC

Mystery Worship Twelve: Memorial Services

Note:  this the last of a series.  Mystery Worship One is here;  Mystery Worship Two is here; Mystery Worship Three is here. Four is here. Five is here. Six is here. Seven is here. Eight is here. Nine is here. Ten is here. Eleven is here. For weeks now, I’ve wandered into different churches in different places, seeking to learn how they worship, and how I experience different types of worship.  Some were wonderful, some awful, most just ordinary.  One in particular especially touched my soul. But worship takes place in other venues, sometimes quite powerfully.  Today, I offer the mystery worship of two memorial services I attended in the last two … Continue reading Mystery Worship Twelve: Memorial Services

Mystery Worship Eleven: A Missed Opportunity

Note:  this is part of an ongoing series.  Mystery Worship One is here;  Mystery Worship Two is here; Mystery Worship Three is here. Four is here. Five is here. Six is here. Seven is here. Eight is here. Nine is here. Ten is here. On my first Sunday back in Texas, I decided to attend an Orthodox Church for my Mystery Worship time. With some research for preparation, I discovered that the Orthodox Church considers itself the only true church, and is not in communion with other Christian groups.  Those who receive the sacrament of Holy Communion are expected to have made a confession in the presence of … Continue reading Mystery Worship Eleven: A Missed Opportunity

A Twist on the Mystery Worship Series

Since early May, I’ve been writing a “Mystery Worship” series were I’ve been visiting different churches and offering my experiences on this blog. Now, I discovered that in many ways, the church I serve, Krum First UMC, has been “Mystery Worshipped!”   In late winter, I was contacted by a UNT journalism student who had been assigned to write a piece on the city of Krum.  I think he emailed a number of people, but I was the only one who responded to him.  We spent quite a bit of time together, he attended several worship services, and I put … Continue reading A Twist on the Mystery Worship Series

Mystery Worship Ten: Redeemer Presbyterian

Note:  this is part of an ongoing series.  Mystery Worship One is here;  Mystery Worship Two is here; Mystery Worship Three is here. Four is here. Five is here. Six is here. Seven is here. Eight is here. Nine is here. For Mystery Worship Ten, I choose Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City. This church, begun in 1989 by a group of 15, had recently moved into its first permanent home ever.  About 4500 people worship weekly at Redeemer now–with six different Sunday services. At this link, you will find the history of this church. Multiple greeters in the airy and light reception area welcomed me and … Continue reading Mystery Worship Ten: Redeemer Presbyterian

Mystery Worship Nine: A Tortuous Hour

Note:  this is part of an ongoing series.  Mystery Worship One is here;  Mystery Worship Two is here; Mystery Worship Three is here. Four is here. Five is here. Six is here. Seven is here. Eight is here. With a generous invitation from my nephew, who has also moved to the UK,  to spend several days in the gorgeous Cotswolds village of Burford (about 23 miles east of Oxford), I was delighted on my first view of High Street to see a Methodist Church–and immediately chose it for Mystery Worship Nine. The building, baroque style of Cotswold stone, had been built around 1715 as a private house, and … Continue reading Mystery Worship Nine: A Tortuous Hour