Monday, July 18, 2011

Finding a Church

So last week I went online and looked at the two PCUSA churches within walking distance of the Seminary. One of them is Nassau Presbyterian Church and the other is Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church. I looked at their websites and what I could find about them online. Nassau street has an intense staff with multiple pastors. They have somewhere upwards of 1200 members and ...primarily Caucasian. Witherspoon Street was started as the first all black PCUSA church a couple hundred years ago. 

I don't know why I have an issue with the churches with huge staffs. It could be that they are wealthier, but I don't see why that would be an issue. I think it's because they remind me of mega churches and therefore do not seem like the personal connection that I have always found in my refuge at church. Also the churches with large staffs also tend to be all white, lacking in diversity, except for sometimes age. 

I went to witherspoon and it was very much steeped in the African American heritage which I enjoyed but it seemed to be an African American church that just happened to be PCUSA. So I don't think that is the church for me. I am a fan of the PCUSA traditions. I'm hesitant to try Nassau because that's where all of the other PCUSA students went on Sunday and they described it just as I pictured it. Lots of members, all white, pretty dry. 
I'm on the PCUSA website looking for other churches in the area. I am trying to discern just what it is I have against larger churches. I grew up in a church of a little over 100 members. The members were from all different backgrounds and spanned all ages and socioeconomic classes. It had a massive heart for outreach and social justice. The Church I attended while in College, and that I am under care with is about 70 members. Maybe 40% of our members are from Cameroon. The church I grew up in had one pastor, an associate for a while, but a lot of seminarians. The church I am a member of has one pastor who is amazing and makes stuff happen. 

Next Sunday I will try a new church. Maybe I will go to Nassau so that I can see what it is like for myself or maybe I will check out a different church. According to the PCUSA church locator site there are 45 PCUSA churches within 15 miles of the seminary. 

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