Wednesday, March 11, 2015

United States churches

I've put up a few posts on churches I've visited in the US.

I just want to cap off with three more church experiences during my first trip to the US, where I combined attendance at a conference in New York, business meetings in Los Angeles and Chicago and 'sightseeing'.

After my morning experience at Garden Grove, I was hankering after some better Christian contact and sought a church closer to my hotel in Hollywood. I can't find the church on Google Maps, but I was surprised that the one I came to nearby was closed. No Sunday evening service! I regret not having gone to the Hollywood First Presbyterian, which was just a little further away and distinctly well regarded.

In San Francisco, which was just a sight seeing destination for me (and I wanted to see Daly City!), I somehow found a sort of house church in an old apartment building. Always pleased to be with other Christians, I turned up at about 8pm. It must have been a time that they'd advertised. The man at the door, friendly enough, wouldn't let me in. I can't criticise as he didn't know me, but I was disappointed. He told me of the next meeting, and I explained that I would be in Chicago then. He urged me to stay for it, and tell the people I was meeting with in Blue Island that I'd met some great people and had to postpone. Of course, I hadn't, I couldn't and I wouldn't. I'd met some suspicious controlling and unfriendly people. Probably a cult!

New York was better. I had in my mind that Disciples of Christ churches were in the same denominational family as my home church; I later found out not so...

My hotel was near the Park Avenue church, but again, time elapsed has stifled the memories and I'm not sure that was the one I visited. I had a very pleasant meeting with the minister on duty, who invited me to his office for coffee. It was a small garret like room up narrow stairs in the tower. He suggested that I attend their Bible study group that evening, which I did. Was a small group of people, slightly older than me, mostly students at some local institutions (Columbia and the Julliard). Once again, I was the talkative man from Oz. Maybe I talk too much! Was very pleasant, and at the right time as I was a little nervous about my first conference presentation that I was in the city to give.

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