I was unimpressed -- and was reminded that I am turning into something of a high church person (it's all relative, yo!). In some ways my standards have been adjusted so low, though. After Glide, I was so stoked that there were greeters who handed me a bulletin.
The bulletin doesn't actually have an Order of Worship, but it does include a Welcome, which mentions (among other things), "Offering: If you are a guest at REUNION don't feel obligated to give. Offering is a time for those that consider REUNION their church home. The giving of our tithes and offerings is a part of our worship and reflects a grateful heart for all God has given us."
The service opened with a live band doing a few praise songs which we stood and sang along to (the melodies were relatively easy to follow, but because the PowerPoint projection screen wasn't very high up, it was often a bit of a challenge for me to read the words).
Then we were invited to greet our neighbors, which I felt kind of awkward about. I considered saying, "Peace be with you." And no one around me seemed really extrovert welcoming friendly greeting me, which didn't help me push myself to actually say hi to these strangers when I had no model for what (if anything) I was supposed to say besides just hello and my name.
The there was the 40-minute sermon.
This week the sermon was on Sexuality and Marriage, and I took notes (duh), but I wasn't really moved by any of it. Blah blah blah, Song of Songs, God is pro-sex (but only within the context of a marriage of one man and one woman!), and various other things I had heard in the first two sermons.
Then there was Communion, which was a pleasant surprise for me, except... The guy was all blah blah blah reconciliation and being made new and this can happen every week when we take Communion and the ushers will be at the front and back of the room and you can go up at your own pace, and you dip the bread into the juice, and the bread is a symbol of Christ's body and the juice is a symbol of Christ's blood shed on the cross for us. I was so thrown that the not-really Words of Institution (or whatever you call that part of the liturgy) felt almost tacked on. I was one of the first people to go up to get Communion, and I walked up to a person who was holding a metal tray with pre-torn pieces of bread and a metal chalice, and he didn't say anything. I almost crossed myself, just to make it feel like an actual religious event. They dimmed the lights, and the band played nice mellow music, so they did create space for it to be a spiritual experience, but it was still somewhat bizarre.
Then there were a couple more songs, a closing prayer, the offertory, and another closing prayer.
There's no Joys & Concerns. The Welcome Card [I like that on the info side it includes checkboxes for "I'm a first time guest" / "I'm a second time guest" / "I come here often" / "I consider this 'my church' " ] has plenty of space on the back for Prayer Requests, and I think this was mentioned at the beginning, but it was somewhat weird to me to not have this made more a big deal out of, since I feel like that's an important part of being community, of being church.
There was no Coffee Hour. There was a table with coffee and ice water, and that was it. They have Community Groups that meet evenings during the week, but I kept feeling like, "How am I supposed to feel at home and in community here?" Yes, I could have stuck around, but I felt a little weird because I still owed the pastor a reply email from Thursday, and yeah, I bailed rather than try to make conversation with strangers (which is not a strength of mine to begin with) who are clearly not exactly My People, when I feel not really equipped to make small talk with people I already know and like (though admittedly brand-new people I can talk about all the churches I hang out at and my job and never even need to get to what's currently going on in my life).