Big news. We found a church. First Church of the Nazarene of Pasadena (paznaz!)
We’ve been cautiously looking for a while now, more actively in the last few months. Seemed right. But both of us have seen so much of churches, and had so much experience, that we each had these inner lists. Honestly, we didn’t have a list of what we were looking for. So much of it was about feel, or what may be cognitive reasoning but hidden under a fair share of vagueness.
My friend Robert, who was teaching a series in an adult Sunday School class, asked me to fill in for him about three weeks or so ago because he was going to be gone. I did. Taught on my recent thoughts about holiness. Amy came along with me, and we went to the church service afterwards. All throughout the morning there were curious little hellos to each of us, things we became intrigued by, surprised by, welcomed by. We left the service, turned to each other and nodded.
But the lead pastor wasn’t there. We took a couple weeks off, then went to a Wednesday night teaching series he was doing on Wesley. I like Wesely. I’ve studied Wesley a fair bit. So, I thought this might be an interesting chance to see where the pastor was coming from. We both really liked him, and the “this might be it” continued.
Went to the morning service on Sunday. Then to a new visitors lunch right after. Pretty casual. There was a taco bar. And most of the staff were there. No big presentation. Just introductions and brief conversations. I sat next to the youth pastor, who spoke on our first sunday. Good guy. Amy sat next to the pastor of visitation. Ninety two years old and very friendly.
All throughout my exposure I had gotten the sense they were a lot more open to the emerging/missional conversation than I would have ever expected. I’ve long been a fan of Wesley, was baptized in a Wesleyan church, but had the sense of Nazarene’s as being a fair bit legalistic. I was quite wrong, at least about this congregation. They very much seemed to value my Sunday School teaching, and I kept picking up hints and whispers that the leaders had read a bit of Rob Bell and Alan Hirsch and others. Curious.
Today I was poking about some more. And found the pastor, Scott Daniels, had earlier this summer done a series of posts on the emerging church. And, it turns out, they were some of the best overview posts I’ve read on the subject… and I’ve read a whole lot on the subject.
For those who’ve poked around dualravens.com for a while, you’ll know that such an interest in a church that I’m showing now is a pretty interesting thing.