on may 30th I went to the Good Bean Cafe in Jacksonville and Applegate Christian Fellowship. I went to these places, always on the recomendation of Tim :), to try and learn what is going on in the community around Williams. The contrast between these two places is not as much as one might think but it was still interesting to observe.
First i went to Applegate to look at the grounds and facilities there... the place is beautiful and excelently maintained. The lawns are perfect, the outside amplitheatre emaculate; with trees and plants covering the place in a wonderful green calming atmosphere. There is a retreat center up a steep mountain road that has the same effect and perfect appearance as the church grounds itself, excepting that it is on a hilltop and has a beautiful view of the surrounding countryside. The place raises a lot of questions in my mind, such as why put so much money into the church grounds, why is the purpose and philosophy of the church to rest and recharge, what is this massive church accomplihsing with their success, how is this church this successful when Williams Community church has only 50 people at best, exc... I have a few questions for the pastor, one of three, that talked later that day, and i will meet with him after I attend the service on sunday morning.
After this visit to "heaven on earth" i went to earth. I went to the Good Bean Cafe in Jacksonville. It was a quiet afternoon with a few people coming in and out and possibly three people sitting quietly in the cafe. I walked in and started talking to Riley the server behind the counter. He was a friendly young man of 16 and i went between reading a little bit in the quiet place to talking with him. He asked what i was reading, a history of the people and religion of the northwest, and we started talking about religion. He said he was agnostic and didn't believe either way in or against God. I talked with him a little about spirituality and he told me that he was interested in the new age, pagan religions because they offered something different than the typical atheism or christianity. I plan on going back and talking with him sometime soon to get some more understanding on what would make a highschooler interested in wicka and pagan religion.
I went back to the church at this point and took part in a small worship, bible study, communion service. It was an interesting message using 1 king 20 to talk about young men leading the church and having the church support them. I am curious about how he came to use that passage to prove that point or perhaps came to that point from the passage. I don't know which one. I plan to ask him what method he uses to teach... I researched his church and he made a membership of 20 grow to a membership to between 5 and 8 thousand... I have something to learn from him, but i don't know exactly what.
I hope and pray that God uses me here, and that I learn much to carry wherever I am.