Yesterday I visited North Canton Faith United Methodist Church with my sister, brother-in-law, and nephew. As you know, they recently moved to Canton and are looking for a church close to their new home. I know the pastors – Cara and Steve Costello – at North Canton Faith, so I suggested we worship there.
North Canton Faith UMC has three worship services: two traditional at 8:30 and 11 and one “modern” at 9:45. We decided to attend the modern service. This service was held in the Family Life Center, which had a nice stage area and decent acoustics. I knew where the Family Life Center was, so we parked and walked directly in to the Family Life Center. Although there were people in the room already, no one greeted us or handed us a bulletin. There was a greeter at the other door to the Family Life Center, but they must expect people to only come in one door.
There was a nice mix of people attending the worship service with all the generations represented. The band was good, although they really need better speakers because it was hard to hear the vocalists and even the preaching was a little quiet. Of course, maybe it was the preacher.
North Canton Faith is having Vacation Bible School this week so they dedicated VBS workers. There was also a report on Annual Conference by the lay member who attended. He showed a video which certainly spotlighted the highlights of Annual Conference. We were invited to sign the register of attendance, but I couldn’t figure out how to sign as a visitor. There was a section for members to sign in which was straightforward, but the visitor sign in didn’t have a place for contact information. It just asked for name and how you heard about the church. I’m not sure how they would follow-up with visitors based on the sign in.
The scripture for the day was Jesus calming the storm from Matthew 8:23-27. Rev. Steve Costello was the preacher for the day. He talked about hanging on to faith in the midst of the storms of life. The most powerful part of the sermon was a story Rev. Costello read from a devotional about a little boy who was surprised by a storm while he was up in a tree in his backyard. The boy was terrified of the wind, rain, and lightning. The tree was swaying and the boy clung to the branch he had been sitting on while screaming for his father to come rescue him. His father ran out to the tree, but instead of climbing up and rescuing his son, he told him to jump. The boy thought how far away his father was and how weak his father’s arms looked, and he didn’t want to jump. But the branch he was on cracked and the boy fell into the arms of his father. His father caught him and carried him back into the house and away from the storm. This is the kind of refuge we find in the arms of our heavenly father.
After the service we were greeted by Rev. Cara Stultz-Costello and I introduced her to Julia, Mike and Jared. Several other people also greeted us and took time to talk to us. When they found out Mike played guitar, they introduced him to the band leader. We walked around the church and everywhere we went people stopped to talk to us. The church building is a large facility – three additions – and can be a little confusing, but there were clear maps around every corner and interesting information about the church on all the walls.
I enjoyed our visit to North Canton Faith UMC. It is a very friendly church with people who take the time to get acquainted with new people. I will be praying for them this week with their Vacation Bible School.