Yesterday the Help and I went to check out a PCA church closer to the house Grace Church over in Chinatown. Now Grace doesn't have it's own building and thus is housed in the Mt. Calvary Baptist Church and has services at 5pm.
We arrived about 15-10 minutes before service to do that very American thing of "getting a good seat." I was venturing towards the left side when the Help suggested the balcony. So we went up and I noticed it was an old building with old building/ little money for 'historic maintenance problems. As the church was filling up we noticed something. The kids filling the pews looked about college aged. It was like we were attending some college lecture. I swear the average age of the congregation was about 25, only because there were a handful of senior citizens. If the old people stayed home, I'd say the average age was about 22. As part of that evening's service there was a baptism of one of the elder's kids. The elder couldn't be more than 35. The pastor was 45. At least there was someone older than us who wasn't retired.
Besides feeling like the cougar and the old guy in the club the church was quite nice.
Oh there was one odd thing. The greeting, or in some traditions, the peace. Now I'm accustomed to the shaking of hands and saying , "G-d's peace," and moving on to the next person. For about 2-3 minutes this church turns into a college meet and greet. I had shaken hands and turned to the people on the other side of me, when I noticed they were quite involved in introducing themselves and giving the "who am I " spiel. So I turned back to the set of people I had introduced myself to and they were carrying on a conversation about who they were and what brought them to DC, blah, blah, blah. I turned to the Help and remarked that, "this is different."
The music was good. Jazzy. There were a few traditional hymns and a few 20th/21st Century ones, with one "Jesus is my girlfriend" P&W song. The closing hymn "I'll fly away" was great and we clapped. It has been so long since I've clapped along in church, it was great. However, the Help started clapping. Unfortunately the Help claps like a white guy. I had to grab his hands and stop him. Later he confessed that he clasps like a white guy because he is a white guy. He also confessed that he wanted the balcony seat to see any balding heads.