This morning Tom and I visited Central United Methodist Church located in Kings Mountain North Carolina. We attended the 8:45 service which is the “contemporary” service held in the Family Life Center. We got there about 10 minutes early and we were the only ones walking in to the church. That made us a little nervous but there were a couple of greeters at the door.
Several people talked to us before the service and were very friendly. About 8:55 we asked when the service started and were told, with a laugh, that it was a relaxed start time. A few minutes later the announcements started. Then we had time to greet our neighbors, which seemed to be time for lengthy discussion with friends. We greeted the people close to us, then stood awkwardly until the singing started. It was close to 9:15 before the service started.
But, once they got going, it was a good worship service. We sang some familiar songs. There were several prayers and a Children’s Time.
Rev. Rex Gibbs is the pastor at Central United Methodist Church. He has been there eight years and anticipates staying until he retires (we talked to him after the service). He has 42 years in ministry, so he can retire anytime he wants to.
Rev. Gibbs preached on Isaiah 43:1: “For I have called you by name. You are mine.” He talked about how God claims us, restores us, knows us, loves us, and protects us. Rev. Gibbs tied it into Jesus’s baptism, which was the appropriate liturgical Sunday. God named Jesus as his son at Jesus’s baptism. God names us as his children every day.
After the service several people thanked us for coming and invited us to return. We were also invited to have a cup of coffee and some cookies.
While we are working at King’s Mountain National Military Park we will be working on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. But, when we said we would like to go to church on Sundays, the rangers agreed and said that would be fine because Sunday mornings are slow anyway. We were able to enjoy worshiping this morning and still made it to work by 10:30.
We will be returning to Central United Methodist Church because they offer this early service that lets us get to work in good time. But next Sunday I expect we will stay in bed an extra ten minutes!