Today, for the first time since December, Tom and I were able to worship in a church: Montrose United Methodist Church. We didn’t just go to church, like we did at Oasis Church in Las Vegas or the worship service every Sunday in Death Valley. We went to a United Methodist service held in a United Methodist Church! It was wonderful. Being back in a church building felt like coming home. There was stained glass! A pipe organ! A praise band! Sunday School recognition! A fellowship time after the service! And they had a VBS sign hanging on the outside of the church as we entered.
We went to Montrose United Methodist Church in Montrose, Colorado. It is a good-sized congregation, but we really couldn’t tell how big it was because we attended the middle service of three. The first service started at 8:15 with blended worship, the middle service (the one we attended) started at 9:45 with contemporary music, and the third service started at 11:15 with traditional music. There is only one pastor who does all those services, so I expect he is pretty tired at the end of the morning.
The middle service has the smallest attendance but there were about 80 people in worship. High School Graduation here in Montrose is next Sunday, so there was Senior Recognition of one young man who attends the service regularly. There was Sunday School Recognition before Sunday School adjourns for the summer. There was also a presentation on apportionments with a cute video that is part of the “Chuck Knows Church” series.
Then we started worshiping! The Praise Band was good and a lot of fun. The Praise Band leader’s wife is expecting a baby so he gave a shout-out to “moms who still have babies in their tummies.” The drummer for the band was sick (the pastor’s wife) so we added her to the prayer list. Tom and I didn’t know any of the songs, so we sang along on the choruses and I just smiled the rest of the time. After the worship service one of the singers thanked me and said I had a very encouraging smile! She could tell I was enjoying the songs. The pastor played the piano with the Praise Band and he was very good and looked like he was having a great time.
The pastor is Rev. Steven Reinhard who has been at Montrose United Methodist Church for three years. I could tell he was comfortable with his people: he joked with them and knew who each person was. He has been preaching a series of sermons on The Fruit of the Spirit since Easter. Today’s message was on being a powerful partner with the Holy Spirit to produce fruit. How do we know if we are abiding in the Holy Spirit? We will produce fruit. If we are not producing fruit, then we are not allowing the Holy Spirit to be our partner in faith. Another way we can see if we are partnering with the Holy Spirit is by noticing what are we focused on in our talk, thoughts, time, and treasure.
We were not able to see Rev. Reinhard after the service – I’m sure he was busy talking with people and getting ready for the next service – but we had a chance to talk to some other folks. The woman who sat in front of us welcomed us, and, as we talked, let us know that her husband is a Park Ranger hydrologist at Zion National Park and she works for the Bureau of Land Management. Several members of the congregation are Park Rangers at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park (subject of a future blog post).
Tom and I both enjoyed being back in church. Montrose United Methodist Church is a good place to worship.