Sunday, May 29, 2011

Conway Presbyterian Church

Today we worshiped at Conway Presbyterian Church, 305 Eleventh Street, Conway, PA 15027, 724.869.7332, Rev. Deane Lavender, Pastor.

Bob’s thoughts:

When we parked at the church I noticed another vehicle with Marine markings, and after waking up early this morning remembering my son, I was looking forward to a Memorial Day church service, but I guess I was the only one. [Note from Jan: No, he wasn’t the only one, and for the same reason.]
I didn’t get to look around much, but noticed no signage. This is a small church, but the organ had enough reverb for two churches. Maybe the organ just had to warm up as it wasn’t as bad later in the service. There was no air movement or open window or door: I couldn’t breathe and Jan wasn’t much better.

The sermon started with a story about people crossing a desert, some intent on the destination and some on the journey. I believe too often we are so caught up in the destination that we forget to enjoy the trip and other times so intent on enjoying ourselves we forget that Christ is the destination. If we can truly live for Him, our life will be our witness.

We had to leave early as I was about to pass out when we got to the porch. I missed my time to pray for this church and pastor. I felt a bit like we were intruding at the club.

There were two women who came in at the end of the service and left after the prayer…wonder if they were seeking?

Jan’s thoughts:

Collectively our family has now visited this church three separate times, but since a few years have passed since our most recent visit we thought today might be a good day to give it one more try.

This is a small church in the heart of a very small community about five minutes from our house.

One person greeted us from her pew when we first arrived and another as she made her way across in front of us. We had hoped for an opportunity to speak with some of the folks following worship, but today, on this nearly 90-degree day, all the windows were closed and once worship began the back door was closed also. The only air circulation was provided by two ceiling fans and they simply could not make a dent in what became stifling heat. Finally I had to choose between leaving early or passing out, so we left at the beginning of the final hymn.

The bulletin contained numerous inserts, but it was user friendly so I was able to hold on to everything and still follow the Order of Worship.

There were only a few very general acknowledgements of Memorial Day: the bulletin cover (a cemetery with the words “God is not far from each one of us”) could be construed as connected to the meaning of this day; a patriotic medley was presented during the Prelude; and (again, loosely interpreted) “Let There be Peace on Earth” for the Offertory.

I have no idea why God’s provision of our freedom was not acknowledged today, but I surely felt something was missing from this service of worship.

The Sermon was entitled “Keep On Keeping On” and was based on Acts 17:22-31, 1 Peter 3:13-22, John 14:15-21. The subject was evangelism, how “sharing faith was easy for Paul but it’s hard for us.”

In a recent anonymous comment left on this blog we were accused of showing favor to Presbyterian churches while being overly critical of non-denominational ones. Well, I suppose some people find God here just as some others find Him at the church of which we were supposedly over-critical, but I found Him at neither place, so I do not plan to come back here, either.

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