50 States Church Surch, Week 20
The Chapel in the Glen
Watkins Glen, NY
"What you believe about God has the greatest potential for good or harm in your life."
~Edwin Lewis Cole
The sign board outside led me to believe the church was a singing and worship church, so my expectations ran the tach up toward the red line. However, while the Victory Singers (eight of them) and Andrew Brooks did a great job, we didn't get into deep worship, in my opinion.
What the church's strength is youth. An old bus rolled up and disgorged teens, dozens of them. Adam introduced himself to me at the bike and explained that 'Freedom Village' sends the kids there on Sundays. Cool. They filled the front of the pews in the old church. I seemed to be one of the few grays present, of around seventy people.
Pastor Brothers (great name for a preacher) got up and spoke. White hair, white shirt and tie, he's been preaching for forty years, and was as vital and energized as ever. He preached like a football coach, stalking back and forth across the front row of pews, the microphone hardly necessary. Pastor B. doesn't pull his punches. He talks about the devil and his wiles, the battle we are engaged in, and the casualties we're experiencing. To make a point, he'll get face to face with a kid, must be intimidating for the youth, but the man makes himself and the mission clear. Using Matthew 13, Jesus' parable of the sower, he reminds us of how the birds can snatch the seed away and we must drive the birds away first. Good stuff. Pastor B. could wander a bit-okay, a lot, but he always got back on point. The sermon veered into the movies 'The Birds' and 'The Blob,' alien abductions and wimpy men. And his dog, DJ. Yet they all did apply, once the dust settled. No, he's not into alien abductions.
I think he may be too old for the kids. While he uses movies like Alfred Hitchcock's 'The Birds,' I think the kids need someone they can understand and speak their language. During the sermon he stopped and told Michael, a kid, to go stand on the side. Apparently Michael was messing around. The congregation focuses on Michael, but Mike doesn't move. Pastor B. preaches on. Seems like he didn't practice what he preached. Who knows?
After judging the aloofness of the congregation, I backed it down a bit when realizing many are kids working through some tough growing pains, unlike most kids. Yet still it wasn't a particularly warm and fuzzy church.
Pastor B. brought it home with the sacrifice of Jesus for our sins and asked if anyone had needs. Hands went up and we prayed. Then we sang 'God is So Good' and were dismissed. People pretty much mixed with their own. I hung around a bit then headed out. Afterwards, at the bike I met another Adam who desired to be an itinerant
preacher. Well, he's been learning at the feet of the master.