Last Sunday Tom and I attended Peculiar United Methodist Church. If this sounds like a strange name for a church – it is! But it is also the name of the town in which it is located, so lots of things are peculiar around here.
We really enjoy being back in the land of United Methodist Churches. If we didn’t want to go to Peculiar United Methodist Church, we had our choice of several others within ten miles. But we always like to check out the local UMC.
Because Peculiar is a small town (5,000 people) we expected an old church building in the center of town. Instead, we found a modern church building in between the newish High School and Middle School. We thought it was a great location for a church – could certainly have some great after school programs!
Peculiar United Methodist Church relocated to its present location 13 years ago when the parcel of land between the schools came up for sale. We talked to Rev. James Stanfield-Myers for just a few minutes after church about the history. He has been at the church for ten years. The church offers two worship services: traditional at 8:30 and modern at 10:30. Each service is attended by about 100 people. They also have a very active youth program and worship time on Wednesday nights. They have a nice website, but I had to go to their Facebook page to find the worship times.
We got to church a little early and enjoyed listening to the Praise Band practice. There are ten in the band, which makes it one of the larger praise bands we’ve seen. We enjoyed singing with them during the service, although the instruments tended to drown out the vocals. We sang some familiar songs and a few new ones. One that I enjoyed in particular is “Bring the Rain.” This is a Mercy Me song and it spoke to my heart after our difficulties with the RV lately.
“Bring me joy, bring me peace, bring the chance to be free. Bring me anything that brings You glory.
And I know there’ll be days when this life brings me pain. But if that’s what it takes to praise You –
Jesus, bring the rain.”
Rev. Stanfield-Myers preached on fear. He said we seek out a little fear in our lives to keep things exciting (roller coasters, haunted houses, Halloween) but living in fear is a bad thing. Instead, we need to learn to trust God who holds our lives in his hand. Isaiah 35:4: Say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.”
We enjoyed our visit to Peculiar United Methodist Church. It is a warm, friendly congregation with a wonderful mix of people. From the announcements and the boxes scattered around the sanctuary, we could also see that they were very active in missions and outreach. We look forward to returning anytime we are in Peculiar.