|157: Lucan Presbyterian, Co. Dublin, Ireland|
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Mystery Worshipper: John Knox.
The church: Lucan Presbyterian, Lucan Village, Co. Dublin, Ireland.
The building: A standard Presbyterian church building simple and extremely functional.
The neighbourhood: Lucan village is about six miles from the centre of Dublin. There is a great deal of new housing and development going on in the surrounding area, though the village itself has remained relatively unchanged.
The cast: Rev. Trevor Morrow, newly elected moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland.
What was the name of the service?
11:30 am Morning Worship Service (although a name wasn't that evident).
How full was the building?
Almost full 120 people with about 10 or 15 empty seats around the place.
Did anyone welcome you personally?
Yes. As I arrived I was greeted by a friend and introduced to others immediately.
Was your pew comfortable?
Large, soft and comfortable "church chairs".
How would you describe the pre-service atmosphere?
People greeting each other and chatting while finishing their coffee.
What were the exact opening words of the service?
"Good morning and welcome."
What books did the congregation use during the service?
New International Version Bible, "The Psalter and Church Hymnary", overhead projector.
What musical instruments were played?
Violin, cello, Irish whistle, keyboard and three voices.
Did anything distract you?
No, though a mobile phone went off towards the end of the sermon. Fortunately it only rang twice before being dealt with.
Was the worship stiff-upper-lip, happy clappy, or what?
The praise was led effectively and was a good mixture of old and new songs. This diversity was good as there was certainly freedom among the congregation in the way they praised God.
Exactly how long was the sermon?
On a scale of 1-10, how good was the preacher?
In a nutshell, what was the sermon about?
Mark 2:23-28, in which Jesus' authority over "cultic religions" is exhibited. Jesus offers us happiness, hope and excitement in contrast to oppression, bondage and tyranny.
Which part of the service was like being in heaven?
The teaching was excellent and the pancake breakfast was delicious.
And which part was like being in... er... the other place?
Nothing at all.
What happened when you hung around after the service looking lost?
I had a chat with a few people I knew and was introduced to some more new faces.
How would you describe the after-service coffee?
The church normally has coffee between its two morning services, so it is either before, after or between service coffee. This morning though, there was a fund-raising pre-service breakfast. Coffee, tea or fruit juice was served in polystyrene cups and pancakes were served on a paper plate with a choice of chocolate spread, maple syrup, lemon juice and sugar. Had I stayed after the service I would have been able to have had lunch!
How would you feel about making this church your regular (where 10 = ecstatic, 0 = terminal)?
Did the service make you feel glad to be a Christian?
Yes, it certainly did.
What one thing will you remember about all this in seven days' time?
Hopefully that the Sabbath day will be more meaningful to me.