“...there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.”
Brace yourself. I rode straight to the church. Not straight, but hit every turn, riding exactly to the building, using Googlemaps and excellent notes.
I found the Jefferson Street Methodist Church's ad in a tourist paper, a first. The place has history; the first church started in 1807, this building finished in 1872. Our church just threw a big party for their twentieth anniversary, whoopie dang ding. Babies.
JSMC wins a Friendly Award, as everyone that I met shook hands, exchanged first and last names, and entered into conversation. Even Pastor John during the greeting time, took time to meet me- and remembered my name.
Creaking into the building (not me, the wooden floors), I was greeted with dark wood doors, trim and pews, red carpets and pew pads. The simple walls wore cream and plain lights hung from the ceiling, and a pretty pipe organ dominated the front. The church only filled half full, and the first five rows sat empty, not good.
The choir entered and part of them gathered along the side and donned white gloves. Handbells! Each member held one in each hand, and some played four, twisting their wrists to determine which bell, and the man in the back played the large bells, a total of eight.
The service was Methodist liturgy (well, what else would you expect?) and Pastor John preached on the Prodigal Son. My insight was it could be analogous of not just someone turning their life to Christ, but also someone who screwed up, turned away, and came back. Very good sermon, good man Pastor John.
During the reading of the Gospel, the altar boy had to hold up a cross, and I got distracted as he shook and sweat, but endured to the end. Pastor John noticed too and gave Grant some kudos for his perseverance.
The worship was older songs such as 'To God Be The Glory,' (1875) and it felt right. You can't sing Third Day music to a pipe organ. Maybe you could, but old songs work well with the pipes. The frosting on the music cake was the choir, piano and organ performing, 'Behold The Man.'
More people greeted me after the service, since Pastor John pointed me out from the pulpit. A very friendly and well mannered church. I think much of it was Southern hospitality. Whatever, it was good.