This morning I went to Aldersgate Methodist Church here in College Station.
Although my parents were married in a Methodist church, I can’t remember having ever been to one myself.
I was a little shocked at the lack of people there. I think the lack of audience was partially due to the church’s location (we got lost 3 times on the way there) because it definitely has nothing to do with the quality of the fellowship.
I actually was near tears twice during the service. The informality of it really made it feel more “real”. No one hesitated to lift their hands in praise or shout something out when the mood struck.
The musical devotional was phenomenal with a guitarist, singer, and pianist playing popular Christian songs.
My friend who took me told me he was glad I came because the previous week when he’d come alone, no one had noticed him. I’m not sure if he was exaggerating but a surprising number of people did personally welcome to us and invite us to join the parish (do Methodists call it a parish?). We even got flashlight key chains!
The sermon was about Jesus’ sermon on the mount, which I’ve been interested in reading in its entirety lately. I thought the preacher (again, sorry if that’s inaccurate terminology for Methodists) was outstanding. He was even moved to tears himself by the words of the scripture. The also incorporate technology, almost to an unnecessary degree but I appreciate the effort to appeal to a younger audience. The sermons are all available online and are really well organized so you can be mentally prepared (by checking their web-site) for the topic of the day if you choose.
On the way there I got a little concerned about what I was wearing. I was just wearing a basic short sleeve cotton dress and small wedges. I’ve been doing a lot of research on different religions and it struck me that they might find my bare knees or even bear elbows offensive. They did not. I fit in very well. I was happy to see that dress was casual but not too casual (I hate when people are so dressed down that it feels disrespectful).
At the end of the day, I really got the sense that the people at this church weren’t just going through the motions of being a church but were truly striving to get closer to God and genuinely wanted to help each other achieve an amazing spiritual life.
I would definitely go back to this church. It seems like they’ve got great resources and a great core group of people. I hope that there’s actually a solid amount of young people who are actively involved in this church.
I’m considering trying a new church in the area next Sunday but haven’t decided which yet.