Another Sunday — Southwood III

This entry is part of my series on my on-going “church journey” that I’ll be documenting as it takes place. You can read about other visits with the “journey” tag.

OK, I’m behind on blogging, so this is actually about Sunday just over a week ago.

I went back to Southwood, but this time visited their formal service. Several difference, though I’ll throw out the caveat that I can’t be sure that they hadn’t changed things in general since I didn’t go to both services on the same week.

From the impressions I had, however, it was very cool how manifest the differences between the two services were. The formal service used a different, much longer bulletin, because it included the words to all the songs. During the informal service, the words were projected on a screen at the front of the church, as I walked into the formal service, the screen was being rolled up. The music was different, not purely traditional, but a mix of hymns and more traditional-sounding contemporary songs. People were a little more dressed up, but there were still knit shirts and a few jeans.

I was a little surprised at how much more full the sanctuary was, given that the dress was nicer and the service was at 8:30 instead of 11. The place was pretty much packed, relatively speaking.

It’s not relevant to the comparison, but the sermon was on Zechariah 3:1-7 and was titled The Gospel According to Zechariah. And, indeed, there was a decidedly New Testament flavor to the verses.

The most fascinating thing to me was toward the end of the service, when we observed the Lord’s Supper, which we’d also done when I was there last time. This time, it was done completely differently. Rather than going up to the front of the sanctuary to receive the elements, we remained in our pews and they were passed around, an approach that was essentially what I’ve grown up with. (The bread was the same distinctive kind used last time, which I was glad of.) For whatever reason, I believe I’m leaning toward communion that involves getting up and leaving your seat as my preference. Not sure why.

Unless I’m mistaken, that concludes my visiting of Southwood. I enjoyed visiting there, and found it similar in many ways to the type of worship I had grown up with.

2 Responses

  1. My lifelong church (well, since 1972) has just switched from pass-around Communion to Communion by ‘intention’ (going up to the front) and I’m not sure yet whether I like it or not. I’m used to a version of that from all my Episcopalian relatives, but it’s taking some getting used to at Covenant.

  2. “Intinction”? Is the bread dipped in the cup? I like going up front, but I don’t like not receiving the elements separately.

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