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Finding Faith in Faith

This blog is dedicated to exploring the intersections of faith and politics, the intricacies of religious culture and the struggle to balance devotion to a higher being and to one’s culture.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Preston Road, miniUA?

My first stop is the closest church. Preston Road Church of Christ is about 4 miles from where I live.

In general, my impression is that Preston Road will probably bear the closest resemblance to UA culturally. It is a smaller church, but it is rather formal and demographically wealthier than many churches.

The minister is Scott Sager, a former campus minister at UA. Scott appears to bring a youthful energy to a more established church culture in some ways that remind me of Dean Smith’s approach to UA. His sermon was not the most eloquent presentation, but he worked hard to embed pop culture and scholarly observations in his message, reaching for the diverse groups that I’m sure make up that church. (As usual, I had a quibble or two with generalizations or specific claims made, but nothing particularly egregious).

The worship was formal in setting, and the forms were traditional. Communion was served from the back of the auditorium (which amused me, since UA had just switched to this model a couple of months before), and at least one woman was present in the passing of the plates.

Preston Road seems to be a church that is struggling with its complacent past, struggling to meet the challenges of an ever-changing society. During the service several calls to return to outreach were voiced, and I see the same frustrated desire to do more with an already comfortable congregation that I saw at UA.

Preston Road is the closest CoC to where I live, and its membership is most like the university environment in which I work. I know there is a lot of work to be done there and I find the opportunities that observation represents encouraging. I was hoping for a bit more intellectual stimulation, but that is but one component in my search for a new church home.


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