Denton Mystery Worship Two: The Subtle Seduction #UMC

A very lovely woman greeted me and my friend after the 9 am worship service at Denton Bible Church, located on University Drive east of TWU. She eagerly asked, “What did you think about it?” I hesitated for a moment, looking for the right words to express my heart and mind and finally said, “It [Read More…]

Denton Mystery Worship One: The Sound of Children

After attending multiple worship services this summer where children were excluded, it was a refreshing delight for me to be in one where children were obviously welcome and heard. A friend of mine, his two pre-teen sons, and I attended the 8:00 am Mass at Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church in Denton. The sounds of [Read More…]

California Mystery Worship Four: Back in the Saddle Again

As always, I arrived early. A friend and I had driven 40 miles to the center of Hollywood to attend the 9:00 am service of Saddleback Church, Hollywood site, located at the Palladium Theater. Clearly the set-up crew had already been working for several hours. Saddleback banners flanked the building, making it easy to find [Read More…]

California Mystery Worship Two: The ROCK, No Babies or Children Allowed

“No children or babies are allowed in the sanctuary and the youth go to a different place.” With those words disturbingly ringing in my ears, since I think children should observe their parents engaged in worship, I was escorted into the cavernous “sanctuary” of The Rock, http://www.sdrock.com/, the gigachurch founded by Miles McPherson, former defensive [Read More…]

California Mystery Worship One: Hollywood UMC

“Good Heavens! Do you know what the land under this parking lot is worth?” That reaction came from the mouth of my friend, a real estate professional, when we found the parking lot of Hollywood United Methodist Church, right in the middle of . . . yes, indeed, Hollywood. As in Los Angeles. As in [Read More…]

Mystery Worship Twelve: Memorial Services

Note:  this the last of a series.  Mystery Worship One is here;  Mystery Worship Two is here; Mystery Worship Three is here. Four is here. Five is here. Six is here. Seven is here. Eight is here. Nine is here. Ten is here. Eleven is here. For weeks now, I’ve wandered into different churches in different places, seeking to learn how they worship, and how I experience [Read More…]

Mystery Worship Eleven: A Missed Opportunity

Note:  this is part of an ongoing series.  Mystery Worship One is here;  Mystery Worship Two is here; Mystery Worship Three is here. Four is here. Five is here. Six is here. Seven is here. Eight is here. Nine is here. Ten is here. On my first Sunday back in Texas, I decided to attend an Orthodox Church for my Mystery Worship time. [Read More…]

A Twist on the Mystery Worship Series

Since early May, I’ve been writing a “Mystery Worship” series were I’ve been visiting different churches and offering my experiences on this blog. Now, I discovered that in many ways, the church I serve, Krum First UMC, has been “Mystery Worshipped!”   In late winter, I was contacted by a UNT journalism student who had [Read More…]

Mystery Worship Ten: Redeemer Presbyterian

Note:  this is part of an ongoing series.  Mystery Worship One is here;  Mystery Worship Two is here; Mystery Worship Three is here. Four is here. Five is here. Six is here. Seven is here. Eight is here. Nine is here. For Mystery Worship Ten, I choose Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City. This church, begun in 1989 by a group of [Read More…]

Mystery Worship Nine: A Tortuous Hour

Note:  this is part of an ongoing series.  Mystery Worship One is here;  Mystery Worship Two is here; Mystery Worship Three is here. Four is here. Five is here. Six is here. Seven is here. Eight is here. With a generous invitation from my nephew, who has also moved to the UK,  to spend several days in the gorgeous Cotswolds village of Burford [Read More…]


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