Sunday, June 15, 2008

New York

Be the first to list your church. Simply post a comment with the following short info:

Name of church
What's the worship music like? (Contemporary, hymns, long, fast, loud etc?)
What's the speaking like? (Old school Bible, culturally relevant, by video etc?)
What's the childcare like?
What's your favorite thing?
What would you change?
Can I wear jeans?


Juliet said...

I'm going to post for 2 churches:

1) Redeemer Presbyterian Church
New York, NY
There are 5 different services, two classical with hymns and three with moderate contemporary praise. Not too loud or boisterous though.
Sermons are intellectually stimulating and engaging, pulling in references to pop culture and philosophy. Tim Keller has a very professorial approach. David Bisgrove has a very NPR approach and John Lin and Scott Sauls have very humorous and culturally relevant approaches.
There is childcare at most of the services, although I don't know what that's like.
The community is amazing. The sermons are penetrating. There is not much that I would change.
You can wear jeans.

2) The Father's Heart Church
New York, NY
Worship is rock and roll style praise. Loud and exuberant.
Speaking is also culturally relevant. Not as heady as Redeemer, but still penetrating.
Childcare is provided during the sermon.
Favorite thing would be the worship. I'd make it more inviting to yuppie/hipster types (if you go there, you can make it more inviting!!!)
You should probably wear jeans, because it's a casual service.

julianne said...

Resurrection Presbyterian Church
Brooklyn, NY

Music: hymns with piano. Also a rotating cast of other musicians, instrumental and vocal.

Sermons: biblical, generally in multi-week series, with nods to current culture.

There's Children's Church for ages 2 and up. The kids love it, and it's run by great volunteers. Kids are welcome to stay in the service with parents as well, and no one will glare if your baby shrieks (mine does).

I love the sense of community at our church. It's small enough that even an introvert like me really gets to know people. (I used to go to Redeemer, which the previous poster described, and felt lost in the crowd there--too shy to get to know people when I never saw the same faces twice. Otherwise, loveloveloved Redeemer, too, especially Keller's preaching.)

I would change the time of the service. We currently meet at 5:30 on Sunday evenings. My baby's bedtime is 6:30,7:00ish. It's hard for the parents of young kids. There's an earlier service in the works though, I hear.

You can wear jeans.

Matthew said...

Name of church: Fellowship Wesleyan Church
City: West Seneca, NY
What's the worship music like? (Contemporary, hymns, long, fast, loud etc?) : First service is more contemporary than the second (which focuses on hymns and older choruses). Good length, erring on the side of long, if at all.
What's the speaking like? (Old school Bible, culturally relevant, by video etc?) : Pastor Matt has a PhD in Biblical preaching, so his speaking is always very well-rooted in the Bible. Not too heady, not too simple.
What's the childcare like? Available during both services (which obviously includes Sunday school during the second service)
What's your favorite thing? Pastor Matt is incredibly supportive; also, the church is doing things (as it can, which is to say, not faster than it should) to develop ministries that are engaging to relatively young people (college-age, 20s, young couples with children).
What would you change? I think the first service could stand to be even more contemporary, but not necessarily in terms of music, which is in a pretty good place. The pacing of the service and the frequency of (so-called) "innovative" segments isn't quite what I'd like, but that's just me. Hopefully, though, FWC will only change what God wants it to change. On a more practical note: the slides aren't always perfectly executed, which can be distracting from the sermon and what not, so cleaning that up some would be nice.
Can I wear jeans? Indeed you can.

Anonymous said...

Name of church Northway Church
City Colonie & Clifton Park!
What's the worship music like? Contemporary, loudish... Heavy on Tomlin. Worship Leader has fancy jeans usually & the band rocks!
What's the speaking like? Very relevant, scripture-based, live & vid.
What's the childcare like? Awesome- separate care for diff age groups.
What's your favorite thing? Pastor Buddy's heartfelt messages and that he references scripture to bring the point home. That makes up for him being a Philadelphia Eagles fan.
Can I wear jeans? duh yeah!

Anonymous said...

I also am going to post for:
Redeemer Presbyterian Church
New York City
The worship music is the one thing I feel compelled to say needs work. There are many young adults who attend these services and even the "jazz" style worship at night is still a little droll. I would like something a little more on the middle ground between "This feels like a rock concert" and "Are we seriously singing all eight verses of this 'contemporary' praise chorus?"
However, Tim Keller is worth sitting through the subpar music for. His messages are insightful, intelligent and thought-provoking. I have been in church every time the doors were open all 24 years of my life and I can honestly say that I have never run across a communicator who gave me a new perspective on my faith week after week.
I haven't ever used the childcare though I know it's available.
My favorite thing is the emphasis on small group community. I met all of my best friends through Redeemer's small group bible study opportunites.
I would change the worship of one of the five services to a more contemporary worship experience.
Jeans? At all five services.

bridget said...

1. Soujourners Mennonite Fellowship
2. Belfast, NY
3. ha! You can email the pastor at connie(dot)finney(at)houghton(dot)edu, but we don't have a website yet.
4. Acoustic guitars and usually violin taking requests from the hymnal for about half an hour, occasionally in other languages. The songs are mostly classics, but really, singing in french, spanish, german or latin is a totally normal occurance.
5. The whole church is more like a small-group meeting: we have discussions that are often led by a member of the church instead of by the pastor. The discussions tend to follow months-long themes, like a book of the Bible or "service" or something like that.
6. There is a sunday school class for older toddlers through elementary school, but babies and older kids stay out in the discussion. There's a patch of carpet in the corner with baby toys, where parents can let their little ones loose and still hear and contribute to the discussion. All the kids stay out for worship and prayer time, and they often pick songs that they want to sing. The sunday school class tries to follow the same themes as the discussion does.
7. I love everything! I love awkward "shake your neighbor's hand time" (which we call "passing the peace") and singing until my voice is hoarse and I love "sermons" where I'm asked what I think, instead of being told what I should think. This is a truly amazing community.
8. Comfier (or just more!) chairs would be nice. We meet in a converted ballet studio, and on big weeks I've sat on the hardwood floor.
9. Absolutely! This is not a skirts-and-bonnets type of mennonite church.

rus said...

I'm gonna post the church that I attended when I lived in New York.

New Hope Christian Church
Jamaica, NY
One service, all contemporary- guitar, drums, etc.
Tom Richter is the pastor and he's an excellent speaker, but he's also very insightful and spiritually relevant.
There is childcare for the very little ones, but most children stay in the service.
The community in that church is awesome. As Tom says, "If you don't like organized religion you've come to the right place. This is about as disorganized as you can get."
You can wear jeans. Or not. It's totally up to you.

Chris S. said...

- Liverpool Community Church

- Liverpool, NY


- Contemporary worship

- Teaching is mix of Biblical Themes, Cultural Themes, & Expository throughout the year.

- Kids' Club is an age relevant atmosphere where the kids learn about the same types of things as the adults & have tons of fun.

- My favorite part is that it is real easy to just be yourself.

- There isn't a thing I would change!

- The fact is, you would probably fit in better wearing jeans :-)

Matthew said...

The LifePoint Church
Huntington, NY (Long Island)
Worship: Upbeat, contemporary rock/pop. Hillsong/Hillsong United type stuff.
Speaking: Pastor Brian keeps it very relevant. Anyone off the street would be able to get something from it, but even seasoned Christ followers will learn something new.
Childcare: Our Kompass Kids program is filled with fun, crafts, and games, but also cultivates and rewards a deepening of a relationship with God.
Favorite thing: The relaxed environment allows you to let your guard really makes the music and teaching even better than it is (and its awesome already)!
What would you change: As of this writing LifePoint currently meets in a rented hall, so the temporary setting isn't as good as owning your own building.
Can I wear jeans? Considering that the pastors do, yes you can.

Anonymous said...

I'm posting for a home church group in Cortland NY (there are a few home churches in the Cortland-Dryden-Ithaca area, with connections between the groups for accountability sake so we don't get "weird" :) )

Name of church: No name...we've been at it for about 6 years now and we never really took the time to make a suggestion was Vortex Christian Fellowship (many of us are former members of the Christian fellowship at Cortland State University and have joked that when you are, you get sucked into the vortex and end up staying in the area).

City: Cortland NY (connections to groups in Dryden and Ithaca)

Website: none (one of the Dryden home groups posts things here:

What's the worship music like? : It's a home group, so there is not a ton of variety in instruments (guitars and bongos), but because its a home group, we can add new stuff quickly and all attendees have the opportunity to request/lead out in song (within the confines of being Spirit led). We tend to play the contemporary stuff.

What's the speaking like? Variety...depends on whom is sharing that meeting. Each person's gifting is different, so each teaching is different. We aim for interactivity when you have a thought/question/comment/addition, you can jump in.

What's the childcare like? The kids are part of the meeting (sometimes sharing little things with the group), playing right in the middle of it. Sometimes its loud, but its kind of a nice twist instead of sending them all away.

What's your favorite thing? Close relationships amongt the attendees and the interactivity...there is no "hiding in the back pew."

What would you change? Sometimes in an attempt to really build our homegroup Biblically by what we see in the New Testament we can get a little legalistic, but with the other home groups we relate to, that is balanced in some ways.

Can I wear jeans? Yes, you'll look weird if you don't. Heck, I've seen pajama pants before! :)

-Bryan Ford ( if interested)

Ann said...

Name of church: The Village Church
City: New York
What's the worship music like? Contempory soft
What's the speaking like? Bible based and culturally relevant
What's the childcare like? Childcare during the service
What's your favorite thing? Community/small groups
What would you change? It's a small young church (~200 people, 11 years old) and I'm looking forward to it growing into it's own
Can I wear jeans? Yes, anything from dress and suits (well maybe) to jeans and a t-shirt

Maggie said...

Name of Church: NY Journey @ Manhattan Ballroom

Worship Music: Very professional and relevant

Atmosphere: Don't let the massively large room overwhelm you, it's nice to have your own chair to sit in. The vibe is very come as you are and genuinely friendly

Childcare: Yes one floor below.

Dress: It's the city, if you can wear jeans to the Opera, you can wear jeans to NY Journey.

Kevin said...

Horicon Baptist Church
Brant Lake, NY
What's the worship music like? We are an older congregation, but we are moving towards a more blended service, but it has mainly a traditional feel.
What's the speaking like? We have a little bit of everything, old school, culturally relevant, video, etc. Sermons are usually 25-30 min.
What's the childcare like? We have nursery available for AM Worship.
What's your favorite thing? The people and family feel.
What would you change? Nothing, I think too many people are self-centered in their approach to church, take a risk, go to something different and get to know the people, not just how you like church.
Can I wear jeans? Of course.

Crewgoddess said...

Name of church:
Calvary Baptist Church
(aka "the golfball church" based on the geodesic dome shape of our building)

Le Roy, NY (just SW of Rochester)


What's the worship music like?:
10:30 - this service is a mix of modern worship choruses with spattered hymns. The team is led by a young man who scored a 4 on SCL's metrosexuality quiz yet is certainly not the "hymnal hero" the score represents. He and the rest of the team (drums, bass, piano, vocals) really focus on facilitating worship for all present.

6:30 - REMEDY is a new service where the music is led by the same guy but is a little more intense and there is more of it.

What's the speaking like?:
10:30 - Sincere, scripture based, and still interesting and relevant to the lives of the people attending.

6:30 - Messages are shorter but still strongly scriptural. The shorter time frame allows the speaker (sometimes the pastor but often other members of the church) to make his/her point fully and concisely.

What's the childcare like?:
10:30 - Sunday school is at 9 and is divided into age groups. For the actual service, there is a well staffed nursery available the whole time as well as Tots Church and Jr. Church/Children's Choir (depends on the week) for the older kids. That said, no one will look askance at you if you keep your kids in service, even if they make noise.

6:30 - There is no official child care for REMEDY as of yet (though it may be added as the service gains popularity). It hasn't been an issue anyway because part of the new approach during REMEDY is that there is an art station, a journaling station, and other areas that promote worship in more non-traditional ways. I love being able to sit and create art for my God while singing along with the worship team at the top of my lungs and I think that kids will too!

There is a Calvary Kids program on Weds night for kids from the community as well as our kids.

There is a youth group that does a lot of different activities.

A lot of our kids go to Bliss Summit Bible Camp during the summer.

There's a mentoring program for young girls (5th grade & up).

There's a cooking class for young people as well (5th grade and up usually).

What's your favorite thing?:
I love the amount of fellowship that goes on. Pastor often has to corral us again after the greeting time because we'd never get out of there at all if he let us go. There's also a time after the service for people to hang out. We have a church softball team which is all about having fun with others from our church and surrounding churches. We have dinners after church fairly often. Many of the church members are also friends outside of church!

What would you change?:
This is a hard one because most of the things I would have said to change have been changed/added for the new REEMDY service I helped plan for. My biggest complaint about church in general has always been that there isn't enough community building involved during the services.

Can I wear jeans?:
Yes. Definitely. But you don't have to either. I've seen everything from dresses and suits to grungy jeans and t-shirts. Pastor Pat usually wears a nicer shirt and slacks sometimes with a tie, sometimes not. Jake (the worship leader) usually wears jeans and a polo or a t-shirt.

Philippa said...

Ridgeway Alliance Church
White Plains, NY

There are two / three services. One Saturday night, and two Sunday morning. The Saturday night one ('Presence') is the most contemporary (usually pretty good, actually). Sunday morning has one traditional hymnsy and one contemporary. I admit, I usually lean towards Saturday night (a younger crowd, but not uniformly) and not Sunday morning, but a lot of my friends go to both Saturday night and Sunday morning services.

The Presence (Saturday) service is pastored by Kevin Gillen, who goes a bit more for "culturally relevant" (and the occasional video) but is also Biblically based, which I find vital. Sunday morning, the senior pastor is Art Robertson, who tends to be a bit on the intellectual side (which I like) but also a little dry and irrelevant (which I don't). The other main pastor, Charlie Blanck, is a great preacher-- a little more succinct, direct, humorous. (Keep in mind this is something of a generalization; then again, how could it not be?)

There's nursery (for the little ones) and Children's Church at Presence, and Sunday morning is the same, but a bit more extensive. Also Sunday School for the kids (and adults) on Sundays.

My favorite thing-- I don't know. I really like this church, but picking out one reason is kind of difficult. I guess it would be the community, of sorts (this is also my "I wish it were better at", so bear with me). Attendees come from all over, within a twenty minute radius of the church, but there's still a sense of community and close friendships despite less face-to-face contact outside of Sunday morning.

I wish, though, that people were a little more connected outside their normal groups. The church isn't huge, but big enough you can't exactly know everyone intimately. I find that I tend to stick to the group of people I know a little too much, but when I've stepped outside that circle, I've met some really amazing people. I know I'm not the only one with this propensity. I'm not sure it's wholly church-specific, though.

At Presence, you can definitely wear jeans. Anything goes, more or less. Sunday morning-- it depends how comfortable you feel. I have, regularly, but I wouldn't call it the norm for a lot of people.

Anonymous said...

North Baptist Church

Rochester, NY

The music is contemporary although we sing hymns sometimes.

The message is culturally relevant. Our senior pastor gives most of the sermons and he is an extremely gifted speaker and is true to the Word. We use video.

The child care and children's programs are great. Nursery for 0-2 year olds and age-appropriate services and bible classes for 2 year-olds through 6th graders. Teens have their own bible class. We have a new youth pastor as of two months ago and he's amazing.

I don't have one favorite thing, here's a few: the message each week, the worship, the range of ages in the church from babies to seniors, the level of involvement of each member. We literally have familes that moved from another state to be closer to this church. Each pastor is VERY strong in each of their gifts. We're a growing church, some people from other churches but most people from unchurched backgrounds. Great small groups.

One thing I would change is to have a ministry that is more of an outreach to our neighborhood. But there are plans in the works!

My husband wears jeans every week, but if you wore a suit, no one would stare.