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UFDN 1000 Christian Formation (Lim)  

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From the syllabus:

Church Tradition Paper 20%

In order to better understand the Christian traditions, you will visit the Sunday morning worship service of a local church congregation.  You can choose any church from the approved list in Appendix A of the syllabus.  Attendance in groups is encouraged.  Prior to your visit you will need to research the tradition and denomination of the church.  This involves the following:  1) Read an article on the history, theology, and practices of the tradition; 2) Visit the church’s website and denomination’s website to learn more about the particular church and denomination 3) Verify service times, location, and inform yourself of protocols and customs of the congregation (e.g., appropriate dress, whether or not you should take communion if it is served).  When you visit, remember that you are in a setting of worship. 

Observe and notice all you can, but do not disrupt the congregation or inhibit the service in any way.  If possible, you should also arrange to meet privately with one or more leaders of the congregation (clergy or lay) to discuss your impressions of the services and to ask questions about the congregation.  You are expected to be proactive and seek answers to questions.  During your visit you ought to seek to answer the following the questions:

1. What are the distinct beliefs and practices of the particular Christian tradition?  Who are the persons that have shaped this tradition?  What are the distinctives of the denomination of the church you are visiting and how does it compare to other denominations in the same tradition?  You will need to consult at least one article or book on this tradition or denomination from the library prior to your visit.  See [the handout Works of Reference on the Christian Traditions] for [a list of dictionaries and encyclopedias (which, however, you should employ as points of entry only, not substitutes for the search for books and articles)].  Note:  your paper will be marked down at least 10% if you skip this step.  [Comments enclosed within square brackets ([ ]) those of Theology Librarian Steve Perisho, not Dr. Lim.]

2. When was the congregation founded? How? By whom? Was it for any particular ethnic, cultural, and/or socio-ethnic group? How many members (or families) currently belong? What is the current ethnic, cultural, and/or socio-ethnic composition of the congregation?

3. Describe the architecture, furnishings and decor of the sanctuary and the other church facilities. What theological messages and/or spiritual “feel” does the building communicate to the worshipers?

4. What is its approach to worship?  Is the church “liturgical” or “non-liturgical”? Do they observe holy days and festivals?  Does the worship encourage participation by the whole congregation, and if so how? What kinds of vocal and/or instrumental music (e.g., chants, hymns, praise choruses, preludes, anthems, etc.) are used?  What are the roles of its various leaders?  Who gave the sermon and what was it about?

5. How does the congregation go about discipleship and ministry? Sunday school classes? Small groups?  Evangelism?  Missions?  Ministries to the community?  What role are women permitted to play in the church? 6. What did you personally gain out of visiting this church and learning about its tradition?

You will then write a 5 page, double spaced paper in response to the questions above.  You must keep a copy of the worship bulletin from your visit and include it when you turn in your paper.

 

APPENDIX A:  CHURCH VISITATION SITES

Orthodox

Holy Apostles

19421 Ashworth Ave N 

Shoreline, WA 98133

206.542.1391

http://www.holyapostlesgo.org/

 

Roman Catholic

St. James Cathedral

804 Ninth Avenue

Seattle, Washington  98104

206.622.3559

http://www.stjames-cathedral.org/Main.htm

 

Lutheran

Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church

7500 Greenwood Avenue North

Seattle, Washington  98103

(206) 783-2350

http://www.prlc.org/

 

Presbyterian/Reformed

University Presbyterian Church

4540 15th Avenue NE

Seattle, WA 98105

206.524.7300

http://www.upc.org/

 

Baptist

Mt. Zion Baptist Church

1634 19th Avenue

Seattle, WA 98122

(206) 322-6500

www.mountzion.net

 

Episcopal

St. Mark’s Episcopal Church

1245 Tenth Avenue East

Seattle WA 98102

(206) 323-4018

http://www.saintmarks.org/

 

Mennonite/Anabaptist

Evergreen Mennonite Church.  Meets at Kirkland Congregational Church

106 5th Ave Kirkland, WA 98033

http://evergreen.wa.us.mennonite.net/Home

 

Methodist

Rainier Avenue Free Methodist Church

4517 South Juneau Seattle, WA 98118

206-722-5616

http://www.rainieravenuechurch.org/index.html

 

Charismatic/Pentecostal

Vineyard Christian Fellowship

4142 Brooklyn Avenue Northeast

Seattle, WA 98105

206.547.4354

http://www.seattlevineyard.org/

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