Tom and I moved to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania for a few weeks. We have some stuff to see in eastern PA and Harrisburg is close to all the stuff we wanted to see. Consequently, we attended a new church last Sunday, the Crosspoint United Methodist Church, Colonial Park.
The Colonial Park part is important because Crosspoint United Methodist Church has two campuses. The church bills itself as multi-cultural and multi-generational, and, from what we saw on Sunday, it is. The Colonial Park campus has three worship services: Traditional at 8 a.m., Blended at 9:30, and Contemporary at 11. Although there are other United Methodist Churches closer to us, they are all very small. We wanted to attend a service where we could “blend in” so we traveled the 6 miles to the 9:30 service.
Crosspoint United Methodist looks like a traditional United Methodist Church with a tall steeple over the sanctuary and an education wing stretched out behind it. I did not get a picture of the exterior and I can’t find one on the internet. I think the church deliberately discourages being defined as a building.
The outside may look traditional, but the inside does not. There were several lobbies going in to the sanctuary where coffee and cider were being served. There was a welcome station and an information station. We were greeted at the door and handed something like a bulletin. But it took me until most of the way through the service to realize that: “Welcome, Opening Celebration, Life Talk, Giving to God, and Closing Praise” was the order of worship. The sanctuary looks like it has been gutted and modernized, with rows of chairs, big screens, and a platform stage. The only concession to the traditional was a cross and some visible pipe organ pipes. The picture was taken while the band was practicing before the service.
The Praise Band was wonderful, with guitars, drums, keyboard, bass, as well as saxophones and trumpets. We didn’t know any of the songs, but the congregation seemed to and they did a good job singing along. After singing we had some video announcements and a short video greeting by the “Visioning Pastor” who was leading a “listening session” in another room.
The “Life Talk” (sermon) was given by Matt Reichard, who is the Children and Family Ministries Pastor. Their current theme is “Irresistible”, which might be based on a book. I think the series has to do with making Christianity irresistible to the world today. The sermon’s theme was Christians do whatever it takes to demonstrate their love. It was based on John 21, where Jesus asks Peter “Do you love me?” Pastor Matt suggested some ways we can demonstrate our love in the surrounding community.
Although the service was lively and the music was nice, I’m not sure how this was a blended service. It felt very contemporary, with a handbell anthem during the offering the only nod to traditional worship. It would be interesting to see how contemporary the 11 service is. But the service is obviously serving its community because there were very few empty seats.
The Crosspoint United Methodist Church was an interesting place to visit. I’m sure it would be an interesting place to worship and get involved.