Thursday, August 25, 2011

seventy-eighth visit: Aug 20th 2011 Seventh-day Adventist (Christianity)

11:15am saturday
Hillcrest Seventh-day Adventist
2340 Wylie Ave, Pittsburgh PA 15219
hill district, middle hill

Often others ask how I decide which places of worship to visit.
Some I attend because of their local prominence. Some because of suggestions from congregants I meet...
But a lot of it has to do with maintaining balance:
To balance grand-scale architecture and congregations with visits to the intimate. Familiar neighborhoods with those that I seldom pass through.
Beliefs that I know very little about with those of which I already have some understanding.

This, my 78th visit:
is intimate in congregation and building-size, in a neighborhood I tend to only pass through for the purposes of this project.
This is my first encounter with Seventh-Day Adventists. Besides the fact that here the Sabbath
is observed (and services are held) on Saturdays—hence the name "Seventh-Day,"—and besides an emphasis on the second coming—hence the name "Adventist"—to me the teaching is familiar.

I am greeted warmly. Almost all of the speaking, including the sermon is delivered by Elder Mamie Clemons. Elder: yes; but firecracker, too. While she addresses us, from my place in my pew, I take in my surroundings and think about ideas for the drawing I'll do during the service. Until I hear this: "I'm not going to name names, but you know who you are. You'd better put that away and listen to what I have to say." She continues preaching for a minute, but then, again: "I don't know what you are looking at, but you'd better put that away. I will wait. You know who you are." She's actually not talking about me; I have not even unpacked my pencil and paper, am sitting attentively throughout. But needless to say, I don't draw during this visit.

What else:
a drum set and electric organ.
a fabulous lavender, sequenced jacket.
mention of hope for a safe school year, free of gun violence.
I concur.
More warm wishes from those around me as I exit and head home.

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