. . . to the weblog of
jon p. amos, hollie's
husband & dad of
ethan, levi, finn,
ellie, marley,
& sullivan

My Photo

my complete profile
theology pintnight
hollie's xanga
kids' photos

blog roll
formerly powered by

bible gateway
daily office

Seminary, etc
Why "A minor"?
November 2002
December 2002
January 2003
February 2003
March 2003
April 2003
May 2003
June 2003
July 2003
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
October 2008
November 2008
January 2009
July 2009
August 2009
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011

A minor


Monday, January 9, 2006

Martin Temple
Yesterday morning, Hollie was sick, and I was running a few minutes late to church. I arrived in time for the baptism of Ava and Gabe by their grandfather, which was wonderful, but with the Booth family and friends and Auburn Avenue Pastors Conference attendees, there were no bulletins left (making it difficult to participate in the responsive reading, hymns, etc) or empty seats (making it difficult to sit down). So I looked at my watch and decided to pay a long-awaited visit to my friend John Jackson's church, Martin Temple CME, where service starts at 11 a.m. and latecomers aren't uncommon. (I'm not kidding; there are rubrics in the bulletin designating the various points at which "Delayed worshippers may enter.")

I met Pastor Jackson at Kinko's, and he and I have had numerous conversations about church and faith, on topics ranging from church unity and segregated churches to denominationalism and the CME. We've discussed paedocommunion (which he practices), weekly communion (which, following parish tradition, he unfortunately doesn't practice; but at least they have monthly communion), teetotalism (which he views as an area where the Methodist tradition runs the risk of being holier-than-thou and so heavenly-minded it's no earthly good), etc. He once told me that he "feels my spirit," and he's extended an open invitation to me to speak at Martin Temple anytime. So I was relieved yesterday when I arrived and saw that he already had a guest preacher, the Reverend Frederick Wagner. (Pastor Jackson was suffering from fatigue and infection and due a vacation anyway, so he asked his old friend, Fred Wagner, to preach. Owner of a mortuary transportation company, Lincoln Parish coroner, and associate pastor of Mt Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Grambling, Reverend Wagner preached a solid, faithful sermon from Philippians 3:12-16, specifically "pressing toward the mark for the high calling of God in Christ Jesus," with a heavy emphasis on daily faithfulness and saturating oneself in the Word and prayer.) Pastor Jackson still tried to get me to lead the responsive reading and/or say a few words. I initially declined because I wanted to observe first and participate from the pew, but after being invited three times during the service to come up and address the congregation, I finally acquiesced (lest I be rude) and said something briefly at the end.

The service or "worship experience" was very encouraging. I love small, faithful parishes, and the congregation at Martin Temple is both small (with 30 or so people) and full of faith. As I walked in, Pastor Jackson's voice was booming "How Great Thou Art," and I was impressed and a bit surprised by his rich, loud singing voice. (Before, I'd only heard him speak in the low, quiet voice of a moderate smoker; but at times I felt like the singing was being led by an older, rounder, shorter Samuel Jackson.) Likewise, the congregation's participation was zealous and orderly. I knew they used a set liturgy - I'd printed the bulletins numerous times - but I didn't know how high or low it would be, how much room for black gospel spirituality there would be, etc. What I found was a perfect blending of traditional liturgy with simple, soulful gospel worship. It's hard to describe, but it was beautiful to participate in.

I went away all the more sure that if I'm to do anything to help build bridges between Monroe's segregated churches, Martin Temple is the place for me to start. The congregation was warm and inviting, and they love their pastor, who doesn't have a sectarian bone in his body but welcomes old Missionary Baptist friends and new white Presbyterian/Anglican friends to share with them in ministry.

jon :: link :: comment ::

This page is powered by Blogger.
Site Meter