52 churches in 52 weeks: "the other CBF"

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52 churches in 52 weeks: "the other CBF"

Postby Haruo » Sun Feb 27, 2011 6:00 pm

At the beginning of the year, I decided that in 2011 I would like to try to visit/attend a service at 52 different churches or other faith bodies in the course of the year. So far, I think I'm on track with 9 different ones in 9 weeks:

Skyway United Methodist Church
Full Deliverance Gospel Center Church
Fremont Baptist Church
Evergreen MLK Service at Seattle First Baptist Church
New Birth Ministries COGIC
Luther's Table )Monday service(
Spanish Mass at St. Anthony's Catholic Church
Evening Slavic Service at Church of Grace
Community Bible Fellowship

Today was Community Bible Fellowship's turn. It was in many ways the most comfortable/positive of the experiences we've had. The pew hymnals were the same Hymnal for Worship and Celebration we have at Fremont Baptist. The congregation was largely young and extremely ethnically diverse. The music was good, with only one of the six songs new to me. The pew Bibles was KJV but the text on the wall (and coming out of the pastor's mouth) was more modern. There was a solid expository sermon on Cain and grace. And there was a scrumptious and filling potluck afterwards. It turns out they are an amalgamation of a preexisting Evangelical Free Church congregation with a newer daughter church plant from Antioch Bible Church of Kirkland. The pastor and his wife spent 6 years as missionaries in Uganda. And there's a Hmong congregation that meets there Sunday afternoons. I should note that Ed's surmise in another thread notwithstanding, CBF has nothing in common with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship except its initials and what the F stands for.
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Re: 52 churches in 52 weeks: "the other CBF"

Postby Dave Roberts » Sun Feb 27, 2011 9:51 pm

Sounds as if you had a very interesting day. One of my co-workers, a police shift supervisor, was preaching yesterday at First Christian Church here and had invited us to come. His message was more directly confrontational, but it was interesting to hear what a guy from the trenches had to say to his congregation.
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Re: 52 churches in 52 weeks: "the other CBF"

Postby Haruo » Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:01 pm

"More directly confrontational" than what, Dave? Tell us what he said.

As an aside, in looking over the materials we picked up at the church, we see that CBF is explicitly anti-Calvinistic. Fwiw.
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Re: 52 churches in 52 weeks: "the other CBF"

Postby KeithE » Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:11 pm

I'd suggest First Covenant Church (just east of I-5 near downtown on Pike(?) Street)
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Re: 52 churches in 52 weeks: "the other CBF"

Postby Haruo » Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:24 am

Yeah, I'd like to try First Covenant at some point. I'm also hoping to make it to at least one mosque (Abu Bakr) and a couple or three Buddhist outfits (including Seattle Buddhist Church), and a synagogue or two, maybe including a Messianic one, and the House of Prayer for All Nations, and a Horn of Africa Orthodox place, and we still have half a dozen churches right here in Skyway I haven't been to yet...
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Re: 52 churches in 52 weeks: "the other CBF"

Postby Haruo » Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:25 am

Luckily, there are 52 weeks to the year, but I note that this is actually the ninth Sunday of the year. The one I forgot was Luther's Table, which worships on Monday... I'm going back up to edit the list.
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Re: 52 churches in 52 weeks: "the other CBF"

Postby Dave Roberts » Mon Feb 28, 2011 2:41 am

Haruo wrote:"More directly confrontational" than what, Dave? Tell us what he said.

As an aside, in looking over the materials we picked up at the church, we see that CBF is explicitly anti-Calvinistic. Fwiw.


He compared most church members to customers in a covenience store rather than worshippers of a Holy God. We want to be in and out with our quick refill.
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Re: 52 churches in 52 weeks: "the other CBF"

Postby Haruo » Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:03 am

Well, this guy was pretty confrontational, too, saying Cain was pretty much a type of us all, both in his hatred of his brother (adducing Matthew 5) and in his receipt of unmerited grace.
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Re: 52 churches in 52 weeks: "the other CBF"

Postby Dave Roberts » Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:28 am

Sounds as though both of them could be related to Amos.
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Re: 52 churches in 52 weeks: "the other CBF"

Postby Sandy » Mon Feb 28, 2011 4:18 pm

How are you working this in with your involvement at Fremont, or are you not there anymore?
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Re: 52 churches in 52 weeks: "the other CBF"

Postby Haruo » Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:37 pm

For the moment, we remain members at Fremont, and I remain webmaster and a member of the Outreach Committee and Evergreen (Regional) Board lay representative and organizer of the semiannual hymn sings. But so far this year I've only been there twice, and Mrs H not at all, on Sunday (though she's been there at least once on a weekday, as have I a couple times). But (especially on the bus) the commute is a bit grueling, and Mrs H especially has found it not worth the results, so we're interested in finding more readily accessible worship options. So far we've found several, none perfect but all worth at least visiting again: Skyway Methodist (where Mrs H is also involved in a weekday evening teen tutoring program), New Birth COGIC, Luther's Table, and now CBF are all places where we can feel part of a worshiping community on an ad hoc basis. On the other hand, none of them jumps out and says "I'm your new home!" really. Mrs H is also interested in potentially pursuing RCIA, and if she does that we'd probably end up, at least for the duration of the course, mainly going to mass at St. Paul's (the local parish here) or St. Anthony's (the much bigger parish just down the hill in Renton). And for my own part, I intend to be a frequent visitor to the Karen Baptist congregation in Kent for the next couple of years, in hopes of producing a nice hymnic collection for them to honor the Judson bicentennial in 2013.
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Re: 52 churches in 52 weeks: "the other CBF"

Postby Mrs Haruo » Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:44 am

:( Let me clarify something Haruo said about me looking for "results" in a church we visit. I have chronic pain and mobility problems. Getting up and getting out and about for me is a little more challenging than for most people. I have worn out knee joints which make it necessary for me to wear knee braces and use a wheeled walker to get around comfortably away from the house. Add bone spurs in the neck from an old injury, and you get one cranky old broad on the days when my pain level is up. As much as I enjoy the fellowship of other believers, if I am so distracted by pain by the time I get there that I get nothing out of the sermon and just want to get out and go home, I'm better off staying home with a radio preacher, a warm cat and a comfortable chair. There's a web page called "But you don't look sick!" that says it well. For some of us, it takes a lot of preparation and effort to look "normal".
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Re: 52 churches in 52 weeks: "the other CBF"

Postby Ed Pettibone » Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:02 pm

Mrs Haruo wrote::( Let me clarify something Haruo said about me looking for "results" in a church we visit. I have chronic pain and mobility problems. Getting up and getting out and about for me is a little more challenging than for most people. I have worn out knee joints which make it necessary for me to wear knee braces and use a wheeled walker to get around comfortably away from the house. Add bone spurs in the neck from an old injury, and you get one cranky old broad on the days when my pain level is up. As much as I enjoy the fellowship of other believers, if I am so distracted by pain by the time I get there that I get nothing out of the sermon and just want to get out and go home, I'm better off staying home with a radio preacher, a warm cat and a comfortable chair. There's a web page called "But you don't look sick!" that says it well. For some of us, it takes a lot of preparation and effort to look "normal".


Ed: And what is normal? And what is the VA doing for those worn out knee joints, other than braces.
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Re: 52 churches in 52 weeks: "the other CBF"

Postby Mrs Haruo » Wed Mar 02, 2011 6:42 pm

"Normal" would being able to do things most people can do without thinking about it- like going down the stairs to the social hall at church without having to hang onto the rail and go down slowly, blocking traffic. Spending an hour or two at a big grocery store doing two week's worth of grocery shopping without being so tired you can't think straight by the time you get to the checkout line because you feel like someone shoved a knife under your kneecaps again.
The VA has helped with physical therapy- and set up an exercise program to help me strengthen what I have left, but the damage is done. It would be nice if I could just go into Schuck's Auto Parts and order up a new set of shock absorbers.
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Re: 52 churches in 52 weeks: "the other CBF"

Postby Ed Pettibone » Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:17 pm

Mrs Haruo wrote:"Normal" would being able to do things most people can do without thinking about it- like going down the stairs to the social hall at church without having to hang onto the rail and go down slowly, blocking traffic. Spending an hour or two at a big grocery store doing two week's worth of grocery shopping without being so tired you can't think straight by the time you get to the checkout line because you feel like someone shoved a knife under your kneecaps again.
The VA has helped with physical therapy- and set up an exercise program to help me strengthen what I have left, but the damage is done. It would be nice if I could just go into Schuck's Auto Parts and order up a new set of shock absorbers.


Ed: Mrs. H. my question "what is normal" was in reply to you comment that "For some of us, it takes a lot of preparation and effort to look 'normal". There is no way that I can go down even the three steps from our sanctuary to the Fellowship hall with out slowing up the flow of traffic. I do try to let those who seem to be in a hurry go ahead of me and if some one tells me to go ahead I say thank you and take them at their word. And If my abnormality bothers them,that has to be settled by themselves and God because if God saw fit he could change it. Yea sometimes I get impatient with him, and I can almost feel him pat me on the head and say "patience child patience". I don't take that from people but he is GOD. My knees primarily the left must not be nearly as bad as are yours but they have talked about enough about partial or total replacement that I dread that annual scan. On the other hand I almost think I might like to hear them say "Well it's time to go titanium".

But my concern was where you said "it takes a lot of preparation and effort to look "normal".

For me, as long as I am clean and don't smell bad and my hair is combed and I have my teeth that is as normal as they can expect any thing else is a bonus. And yea once in a while when a good day comes on a Sunday I like to get spiffed up, if I am really feeling good I might even put on a tie. BUT on a bad day if some one ask how I feel, I do not lie , I say "pretty miserable ".

Praying that thing begin to look up for you.
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Re: 52 churches in 52 weeks: "the other CBF"

Postby Mrs Haruo » Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:00 pm

I'm just old-fashioned enough that I feel under dressed in a T-shirt and jeans on a Sunday morning. For a time several years ago I was wearing heavy support stockings to treat an edema problem in my legs that took 20 minutes to put on properly. Haruo kept forgetting how much longer it took me to get dressed than he did and would think he was doing me a favor by letting me sleep as late as possible on Sunday mornings, then I wouldn't have enough time to get ready and still make the bus. Throw in shoulder length hair that has to be untangled and arranged in some manner that doesn't frighten small children, medicine that has to be taken at set times of the day, sun screen applied ( yes, folks, the sun DOES come out in Seattle, contrary to popular opinion!) so I don't fry my skin, as the medication I am on makes me more sensitive to the sun, yeah, women are more complicated, but I hope the results of waiting are worth it. Haruo seems to think so :D
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Re: 52 churches in 52 weeks: "the other CBF"

Postby Tim Bonney » Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:54 pm

Our church is working on some remodeling. And one of the reasons is usefulness and accessibility. We have a small elevator that is a pain to get to. If you don't use that it is steps no matter where you go. We are working towards building a new ground level entrance which will also include a nice ramp into the rest of the building. Part of the new building includes moving the chapel into the new accessible area because their current chapel is either downstairs or down the elevator and then down a very long hall.

I am quite sure some of these issues effect people coming into the building. And it is something to see that architects in previous generations just gave no thought to putting steps every where you go. Even taking a casket in and out of the building is a major chore.
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Re: 52 churches in 52 weeks: "the other CBF"

Postby Haruo » Thu Mar 03, 2011 1:07 pm

So it's not just the disabled but the dead who are inconvenienced by these design issues.
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Re: 52 churches in 52 weeks: "the other CBF"

Postby Tim Bonney » Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:36 pm

Haruo wrote:So it's not just the disabled but the dead who are inconvenienced by these design issues.


Well, the mourners for the dead. The steps are honestly dangerous with a casket.
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Re: 52 churches in 52 weeks: "the other CBF"

Postby Ed Pettibone » Thu Mar 03, 2011 4:22 pm

Timothy Bonney wrote:
Haruo wrote:So it's not just the disabled but the dead who are inconvenienced by these design issues.


Well, the mourners for the dead. The steps are honestly dangerous with a casket.


Ed: Do you think that is one reason that in many areas most funerals are held in a mortuary rather than in a church?
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Re: 52 churches in 52 weeks: "the other CBF"

Postby Mrs Haruo » Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:59 pm

The number of stairs in older churches is probably a big reason why mortuaries do a lot of funerals. Seattle First Baptist is one example of a church that was built long ago with no regard for the gimpy of limb. It is a beautiful building with fascinating architectural details, until your are on crutches or are in a wheel chair, then the place is pretty annoying. A hundred years ago, before antibiotics, few people with spinal cord injuries lasted very long. People talked about "visiting shut-ins" a lot more from books I have read from back then. I am told that when Fremont Baptist had the money to install an elevator. Maybe I should start a thread on how accessible your churches really are. Are you reaching out to people who are hard of hearing and may appreciate earphones? An interpreter signing the service? Recorded Bible study aids for the blind?
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Re: 52 churches in 52 weeks: "the other CBF"

Postby Tim Bonney » Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:03 pm

Yes I do think accessibility has something to do with funeral home chapel popularity. But it seems that at my current church I have only been involved in two funeral home services and a whole lot more have been held at the church.
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Re: 52 churches in 52 weeks: "the other CBF"

Postby Haruo » Sun Mar 06, 2011 10:32 am

This Sunday Mrs H is going to go back to New Birth COGIC. I'm heading off early to sing a special music gig at Fremont (the person who was supposed to sing today at the last moment rescheduled for a couple weeks from now, so I was drafted): "The Great Speckled Bird" and "Just a Little Talk with Jesus", both encores from our last hymn sing. Then this afternoon I'm hoping to make my first appearance at the Karen church in Kent. I've met some of their people at picnics and Evergreen meetings, but haven't yet attended their worship service. So I'm packing my Karen Bible and hymnal.
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Re: 52 churches in 52 weeks: "the other CBF"

Postby Mrs Haruo » Sun Mar 06, 2011 4:10 pm

My Bad. I got into a conversation on line with an old friend in a different time zone and lost track of the time in my own. Too late to make it to church, so I told my brother when I called him and he said "I thought you would be at church now" I told him I was worshiping at the Church of Clean Up the Living Room. Meanwhile I am enjoying some wonderful music and thought provoking discussions on Sacred Heart Radio.
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The Betsuin: Seattle Buddhist Church

Postby Haruo » Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:27 pm

This past Sunday, I got up early and headed out to the 10:30 am service of the Seattle Buddhist Church (website), the local betsuin (something between parish temple and cathedral) of the Buddhist Churches of America (website), the oldest Buddhist organization in the USA. I have been aware of this congregation and its building since childhood, as it plays a central role in Bon Odori, a Japanese community event associated with Seafair, and there are occasional connections between it and Japanese Baptist, a church with which I have had a longstanding relationship, but I'm pretty sure I'd never been inside its sanctuary (or other rooms). I was afraid I might have to sit uncomfortably (I'm getting creaky and am out of practice!) on tatami, but it turned out they didn't even require shoe removal, though we were admonished to shake the dust from our sandals (;-)) before entering.

The overwhelming sense I had was of how similar the place and the people were to JBC, and how similar the doctrine (as far as I could understand it) was to a pro-eternal-security brand of American evangelical protestantism, apart from the substitution of the Amitabhya (Buddha) for Jesus. It was the Higan service (equinox), so there was some focusing on the changing seasons, and of course there was mention of the recent catastrophic seismic events in Japan. I gave ten bucks to their earthquake relief fund.

We sat in padded pews, and sang gathas (hymns) in English and Japanese to a piano accompaniment. The Rinban minister (senior pastor) is a white guy named Don Castro, and the guest preacher was an older Japanese man who is the pastor of the temple in Lethbridge, Alberta. He spoke on "When two become one in the gassho". I stayed for the Japanese service, then headed downstairs for coffee and donuts and an effort to find out how to buy a service book (I gather they don't want the unenlightened to own them). I missed the English dharma talk, because it coincided with the Japanese service, but hopefully next week I'll make it for that, as Mrs H and I are hoping to attend their festival this Sunday. Failing that, I'll go back on April 10 for the Buddha's Birthday service.

I absconded with one of their service books, and it was probably wrong of me to do so. But I just had to try out some of the other gathas, and show the "organ music" section to our organist at Fremont, and copy the pentatonic chant notation.

One odd thing: I always think of Buddha as Gautama, or maybe Siddhartha, in India, maybe half a millennium before Christmas. But the Amida Buddha that the Jodo Shinshu folks praise and trust with their passage across the river to the True Pure Land turns out to have lived several centuries before Gautama, apparently in a different star system.

Anyhow, next Sunday we're hoping to go to Amazing Grace Lutheran, our local LCMS parish (worship 9:30 AM), and then go into town for the Buddhist church festival.
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