52 Churches 52 Weeks

Worship Exploration Journey

Week 9 Church 9 – Central United Methodist Church – Methodist

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Today I dragged Candace and Tess out of bed to attend a Buddhist Temple in the hood. It was going to be something very different and when we arrived it was definitely closed. We quickly did a google search and attended Central United Methodist Church on Central Avenue just north of the Phoenix Art Museum. Gorgeous palm lined, downtown, urban location!

This is a church I have seen my whole life as I passed by on my way to somewhere else. It is all white on the outside and surprisingly red brick on the inside. Tradition in every sense of the word. Stations of the Cross, beautiful stained glass art, pews, candles, an altar, and a red and white-robed choir. The music was traditional and communion was taken at the kneelers in front of the altar.

Most surprising thing: The Reverend ask, “if any one is visiting for the first time to please raise their hand. Come on, don’t be shy. Tell us where you are from.” OMG – that would be us. I raise my hand and he asks us to stand and tell us where we are visiting from:). Good thing I overcame my fear of speaking in public just last week! I tell the congregation we are from Ahwatukee. Ah, he chuckles, “is that a foreign country?” Hahaha. We got a gift bag and coffee cup for joining them today. The coffee cup indicates the church was established in 1875. Wow! No light rail, no cars, just a dusty, hot road in the middle of the desert. Now that is faith. Everyone was so incredibly kind and welcoming and invited us to return.

Today the Reverend spoke about what distracts us from God. Doubt, fear, impulsiveness. He forgot Facebook, texting, multitasking, jobs, kids, hormones and family management to name just a couple. Distraction and lack of focus on God seems to be a common theme among the services I have been to over the past two months. Listen for the Lord, Reflect, Rest, Hear, Be Quiet, Wait. I am so guilty of busy-people syndrome that I hope my year-long journey will renew my ability to hear the will of God for my life.

To visit this church go to www.centralumc.com


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