In Lay Terms

Random Ramblings From a Church Nerd

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Worship in New York

It's my first Sunday in New York, and I'm faced with a dilemma: Where to go to church?

When I first told people I was moving, I got this question. People asked me if I was going to worship at a Lutheran church or switch (I'm staying Lutheran). I even got lobbied by a few pastors to worship at their church. It was sort of fun.

I can name four churches where I have good relationships with a number of people in the congregation. All of these would be great places to worship, an they are pretty distinct from one another. Here they are, in alphabetical order (so that I do not show any preference):

Advent: I know one of the pastors (Barbara Lundblad, who also teaches at Union Theological Seminary). I met the senior pastor a few months ago, and she seems lovely. I also know a number of the congregation members, because they have worked with my last job at Lutherans Concerned.

Holy Trinity: I have worshiped here before. The former pastor is now the Bishop of the Metro New York Synod. The new pastor moved to New York from Minneapolis (to take this job). Very high liturgy. They do Bach vespers on many Sunday evenings.

St. Peter: My friend is an intern there (soon to be ordained). He has introduced me to a lot of other cool people in the congregation. This church sold its airspace to CitiBank, so the church is incorporated into the CitiBank building. I like to call it St. Peter's of Citibank. Also high liturgy.

Trinity: Many years ago, I hired the pastor of this congregation to be a keynote speaker at Gather Us In. This church runs a homeless shelter for LGBT youth. I also confess that I got my apartment through a few members of this congregation, so I feel a debt of gratitude.

I'm sure over time, I'll try all of these congregations. On this particular day, there is another consideration. I'm getting on a train to go to DC at 11:00, so I looked at the church web sites to see where I could worship before going to the train. Holy Trinity and Trinity were eliminated because they only have 11 AM worship services.

And...I'm still staying with my friend. And Advent is very close to her house. Advent is also close to the subway that can get me to Penn Station the quickest. So...Advent Lutheran is the winner for this Sunday.

But don't worry, I'll be getting around. It's also possible that I'll find another church that is lovely that is close to where I live (when I start staying in my apartment). The possibilities are endless!


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