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542: St Peter's, Fernandina, Florida
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St. Peter's Episcopal Church, Ferendina, FL
Mystery Worshipper: MarketPlace.
The church: St Peter's, Fernandina, Florida.
Denomination: Episcopal.
The building: A beautiful historic sanctuary with very attractive and functional educational and fellowship buildings. Well designed, absolutely clean and well maintained.
The church: An authentic community of faith with a broad range of worshipers who seem to have a truly fond affection for Christ and one another.
The neighbourhood: The church is set amidst a very historic and beautiful area with lots of attractive older homes.
The cast: Fr. George Young, rector, assisted by an additional priest.
What was the name of the service?
Family worship.

How full was the building?
Mostly full, although everyone seemed to think the attendance was off a bit from usual. It was comfortable to find a seat but full enough to be exciting.

Did anyone welcome you personally?
We were greeted by several people inside and out of the worship service. The congregation seemed to be a very friendly and outgoing group of believers.

Was your pew comfortable?
The pews are of an old style reflective of the historic nature of the building, but they were comfortable.

How would you describe the pre-service atmosphere?
Very worshipful, joyful, and friendly as people talked quietly to one another.

What books did the congregation use during the service?
Prayer book, a hymn book, and some pre-printed pages.

What musical instruments were played?
Only an organ.

Did anything distract you?
No real distractions really. The first service we sat in the front and were very comfortable for non-Episcopal folks. The second service we sat in the back and the sun was pretty bright as a few folks had to leave early. Afterall, it is Florida.

Was the worship stiff-upper-lip, happy clappy, or what?
A good combination of reverence and joy. I was particularly touched by the Spirit of God during the music.

Exactly how long was the sermon?
30 minutes or less.

On a scale of 1-10, how good was the preacher?
9 – The preacher had an excellent style, and managed to be both relational and expository. His ability to apply the theme to real life was excellent. I came away with a renewed sense of forgiveness and peace.

In a nutshell, what was the sermon about?
Forgiveness of others who wrong us in life.

Which part of the service was like being in heaven?
The singing and the sermon.

And which part was like being in... er... the other place?
If I said anything here I would have to make it up which would be lying and then I would have to go back for the sermon on that!

What happened when you hung around after the service looking lost?
Before the first service there was breakfast which was put on by the men. Absolutely a wonderful time of food and fellowship. Between the services people were very open and friendly. After the last service not many people said anything to us as we stood around in the court yard. They weren't exactly unfriendly, but neither could they be described as outgoing.

How would you describe the after-service coffee?
Good, but it could definitely be improved with a little more interaction by members toward guests.

How would you feel about making this church your regular (where 10 = ecstatic, 0 = terminal)?
9 – If I were from this tradition I would have no hesitation at all.

Did the service make you feel glad to be a Christian?
Oh yes! It affirmed how wonderful and diverse the body of Christ is and how great it is to worship with every part of that body.

What one thing will you remember about all this in seven days' time?
The constant affirmation of forgiveness which needs to be extended to us all.
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