|871: Wesley United Methodist, Wichita Falls, Texas, USA|
|Other reports | Comment on this report|
Mystery Worshipper: Painter.
The church: Wesley United Methodist Church, Wichita Falls, Texas.
Denomination: United Methodist.
The building: A prominent 1970s-style church in a comfortable neighborhood. It seemed larger on the outside. The grounds were neat and clean, but a Christmas garland hung over the church entrance. That would not be an issue in December, but this was June.
The church: I noted a lack of young people, but the church was not predominantly seniors either.
The cast: Pastor John D. Edwards
What was the name of the service?
How full was the building?
The pews were about 50 per cent full.
Did anyone welcome you personally?
The ushers smiled, welcomed and handed us a bulletin as we went into the sanctuary.
Was your pew comfortable?
The pews are standard issue 1970s wooden pew with simple red cushions. They are comfortable, but the leg room was noticably limited.
How would you describe the pre-service atmosphere?
A prelude played in the background with very little chatter.
What were the exact opening words of the service?
A boistrous "Good morning!"
What books did the congregation use during the service?
The pew Bible (New Revised Standard Version), a bulletin sheet, and the United Methodist Hymnal.
What musical instruments were played?
The grand piano tunes were lovely and floated through the sanctuary. A sign language interpreter accompanied all the music.
Did anything distract you?
Throughout the service I kept hearing thunder, but figured out the microphone system has some kind of ghost making faint rumbling noises. I knew for sure when we left the service and were greeted with a sunny sky.
Was the worship stiff-upper-lip, happy clappy, or what?
United Methodists are about as casual as they come, especially during the summer months, but I found this service to be a nice mix of casual and reverent.
Exactly how long was the sermon?
30 minutes. Although I believe our fast-paced attention spans demand a shorter time frame (closer to 20 minutes), I didn't find my mind wandering during the sermon.
On a scale of 1-10, how good was the preacher?
8 the only thing I noted was a brief reference about illicit sex, and even though I believe modern Christians must confront such issues, topics like that make me a little nervous when there are children in the audience.
In a nutshell, what was the sermon about?
Our calling as Christians means being more than just church attenders. We must "read the words" and act upon them.
Which part of the service was like being in heaven?
The sermon was a message for all. It was interesting and relevant to mature Christians and those of us trying to attain maturity.
And which part was like being in... er... the other place?
The music was too high pitched. The choir director seemed to have a hard time getting the high notes out. I couldn't hear anyone around me singing.
What happened when you hung around after the service looking lost?
People are friendly at this church and many seem willing to acknowledge a new face with a smile or handshake.
How would you describe the after-service coffee?
There was a bake sale going on, but like most United Methodists, they don't hang around drinking coffee and eating cookies. The protocol is to beat the Baptists to the cafeteria.
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 the church and its members were warm and welcoming. I didn't note a lot of young people. There is room for outreach here.
What one thing will you remember about all this in seven days' time?
The warmth... this church has much to offer.