It was a wonderful weekend as I visited 5 different places of worship.
First off was Good Friday noon service at Calvary Episcopal Church, exactly at the time which Jesus was crucified. Coincidentally, “Calvary” is the name of the hill of the crucifixation (Golgotha), and “Santa Cruz” means “Saint of the Holy Cross” in Spanish. It was an interesting traditional Anglican service with Holy Communion at the end.
On Friday evening, I went to the KCCC (Korean Campus Crusade for Christ) Gethsemane prayer service. We car-pooled and drove to the Salvation Army at Newark. There were many Koreans and Asian Americans present, pretty cool. It started at like 9.30pm lasted until midnight (yes pretty late!). The worship was awesome! I love the songs they sing…mostly Hillsong and a few Chris Tomlin. There was a short sermon about why God turned his back on Jesus, and then there was some prayer time for the campus and for the nation. They have a shout at the end of the service that goes “Win the campus today, win the world tomorrow!”
Saturday afternoon, I went to Twin Lakes Church at Cabrillo. It is one of the few megachurches in Santa Cruz, and it’s probably occupying a few of the older buildings at Cabrillo College. The church campus is pretty big, with a few separate buildings for Sunday School and offices. There were many people for a Saturday afternoon, and there was cupcakes! It was a short 1-hour service, not like the long 2+ hours services that we have, but it was good. The auditorium was pretty big, probably can sit 1000+, They even gave a year’s supply of eggs to someone each service. (Although easter is not about eggs, many churches still have egg hunts and what not.) The sermon was about What happens when you meet the Risen Christ, and there were a few song items which were pretty good.
Saturday night, I went to a potluck house party with Bridgett. The house was pretty nice. And then there were more cupcakes! It was pretty cool to get to know new people and having fun with them.
Sunday morning, I went to a traditional choir service at First Congregational Church (part of the United Church of Christ). The choir sings pretty well, there were a couple of hymns. One unique thing about the almost 2-hour service was that there were a couple of people who came up to share their testimonies. Another interesting thing was registered members get a nametag so that they can identify one another. Newcomers were also asked to introduce themselves to a small crowd. The sermon was from a poem, on “what urgency calls to your One Love”. There was Holy Communion too, and the bread was a real huge piece broken into small pieces.
After that, I went to Vintage Faith Church, my second time there. It was packed, overflowing with many people! The 1.5-hour service themed “Awaken” was about the empty tomb. The sermon was about the road to Emmaus. One of the interesting parts of the service was to write a letter addressed to yourself, to talk about your commitment to Christ. The letter will be sent by the church to you in 6 months’ time. There was a lso a very cute song item by the kids. Pretty cool. I ate lunch with some of the IV/UCSC people at Shunfeng after that.
I’m so looking forward to the rest of April…Starfield, Chris Tomlin, Joel Osteen, Rick Warren, and then Leeland and David Crowder in May. It will be an awesome spring!