Smithfield Meeting

While at the FGC Gathering in July, I decided that I would address my recent spiritual malaise by attending some programmed meetings and liberal churches. Last Sunday I began my experiement by visiting Smithfield (RI) Meeting with DC. In contrast to other programmed meetings I’ve attended, Smithfield felt much more like the programming arose from silence, rather than the open worship being a piece contained within the programming. Here’s the approximate order of service (nothing was printed or handed out; before and between almost every element was a period of silence/open worship):

  • instrumental of “Amazing Grace”
  • lighting of candle of remembrance for casualties of war, Bible verse
  • hymn
  • scripture reading to focus time of sharing of “joys and concerns”
  • open worship
  • hymn
  • message (“Grace for the Night Journey: Five Years On”)
  • open worship (there was at least one message)
  • hymn (Amazing Grace)
  • handshake
  • introductions and afterthoughts (there were two messages)
  • announcements
  • refreshments in the basement

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